Ottawa County –According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, a baby dies every three days in Michigan and these deaths are 100% preventable. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of deaths for babies less than one year of age. Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, proclaimed September as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan.
– Dawn Dotson, MIHP Supervisor at Ottawa County Department of Public Health
The Michigan Department of Community Health, Education and Human Services and local agencies, such as the Ottawa County Department of Public Health Maternal & Infant Health & Prenatal Education (MIHP) program and Pathways, MI are working together to raise awareness and educate parents about safe sleep practices. “Infants do not have enough strength to pull themselves out of places where they might get wedged,” said Leigh Moerdyke, Community Youth Development Program Director at Pathways, MI. She said when babies are placed on their stomachs to sleep it tips their chin and neck, closing off the airway and potentially causing asphyxiation.
1. Always place your baby on his or her back for naps and at night.
2. Babies should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or in a chair with anyone.
3. Use a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib with a fitted sheet.
4. Keep soft objects, toys, crib bumpers and loose bedding out of sleeping environments.
5. Babies need tummy time when he or she is awake with someone watching.
1. Women should receive regular healthcare during their pregnancy.
2. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs during pregnancy or after your baby is born.
3. Breast-feed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
4. Do not let your baby get too warm during sleep.
5. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on child immunizations.
Dawn Dotson, Community Health Supervisor
Maternal & Infant Health & Prenatal Education
Ottawa County Department of Public Health