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SIDS Awareness Month: safe sleep practices for parents

Posted at 4:41 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 09:39:17-04

TULSA, Okla. — New parenthood can be joyful and terrifying, for SIDs awareness month, we're working for you to dig into infant safety.

SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome, it's the sudden and unexplained death of a baby under 1-years-old. In the U.S., nearly 3,000 babies die every year from SIDS. That's why hospitals try to educate parents on safe sleep before discharging them with their newborn.

The program manager with the Oklahoma Prenatal Quality Improvement Collaborative said their mission is to teach new and expecting parents preventative measures to avoid SIDS, and SUIDS, sudden unexplained infant death syndrome.

Denise Cole said a baby should sleep alone, in a flat, empty crib. No blankets, toys, pillows, or other children should be in the crib with the newborn.

Most importantly, parents, do not sleep with your baby.

“When you look at actual practice, it looks different. With sleep, it’s tricky," Cole said. "Anyone who has had a newborn knows that sleep is very precious, it’s a tiring time, so we may know the right thing to do, but in reality we may not practice that right thing.”

2 Works for You sat down with a mom, who lost her baby boy five years ago. On her sixth day back to work, Ali dropped her baby off at daycare. She said daycare provider put her baby in someone else's car seat, and left the baby there for hours.

Due to the size of the car seat being way to big for her baby, he slid down and suffocated in his sleep.

After grieving, Dodd started a non-profit she named after her baby boy, Shepard's Watch. Dedicated to educating and supporting new and expecting parents about safe sleep.

“I really concentrate a lot of my efforts, not only on parents, but for daycare providers as well. When Shepard died, they did not have to have any formal safe sleep training, I didn’t know why DHS had the rules they had," Dodd said. "The past four years, they’ve all been working to require at least two hours of safe sleep training for daycare providers. It’s a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to do.”

Her message to parents:

“We’ve all made mistakes, so everyday presents a new chance to do the right thing. If you have been using a blanket and they are not 18 months old, if you have been using some kind of inclined sleep and you didn’t know. It’s fine, you didn’t know, today is a new day.”

The Safe to Sleep Campaign research shows infants sleeping on their back rather than on their stomach to be less likely to die of SIDS.

For more on Shepard's Watch click here.

To learn more about SIDS and SUIDS, click here.

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