It’s as Simple as ABC: Put Infants to Sleep Alone,
On their Backsand in a Crib. Every Baby. Every Sleep.
Less than 44% of parents or other caregivers in the U.S., according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, always put their infants to sleep on their backs, despite ample evidence that doing so reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and suffocation. And many others jeopardize the lives of babies by allowing them to sleep in beds with adults or in cribs that contain soft objects like toys and comforters.
Through a program called Sleeptight, CHIP (Children’s Health Investment Program) of South Hampton Roads is leading the effort to align 23 regional health organizations with the collective mission of creating a community culture that embraces infant safe sleep through collaboration, partnership, and action. In 2016, 32 infants died due to unsafe sleep in eastern Virginia.
“Remember ABC,” says C.W. Gowen MD, a neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “Put babies to bed alone, on their backs and in a crib.” Gowen spoke at a news conference attended by representatives of all local hospitals, public health and social services departments, EVMS and organizations fighting to prevent child abuse.
According to Cynthia Romero, MD, Director of the Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS, “this initiative is a product of the efforts of regional stakeholders from the Healthy Homes, Healthy Children work group. It is is a collective approach designed to address the high number of infant deaths in our community as a result of unsafe sleep practices.”
Sleeptight Hampton Roads wants to make sure that all the citizens of our region understand the importance of safe sleep. The group is looking for opportunities to share this simple, but critical message. “We all say ‘It’s as simple as ABC’, but in this case this phrase takes on life saving importance for the babies of our community,” says Trish O’Brien , President and CEO of CHIP of South Hampton Roads. “Together, we can move the needle on infant death in our region,”
More information is available at www.sleeptighthamptonroads.org. Caption is local pediatrician Dionne Palmer demonstrates the ABC's of Safe Sleeping for infants with local mother and CHIP member, Cyquria Green, and her baby, Stephon Green Jr.