Putting your infant to sleep safely

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health is recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as gold certified.

That’s thanks to its efforts in promoting the best practices and education in infant sleep safety.

While getting a child to sleep can be a challenge, but first time mother Andrea Joslyn says her 4-month-old daughter Beau is doing quite well.

“Ever since we brought her home she’s been a relatively good sleeper. Really only waking up when she was hungry,” Andrea said.

Beau is currently sleeping in a bassinet in her parents’ bedroom. Sharing a room with infants until they are at least 6 months old is just one of the guidelines that Dr. Kayli Reece with the 32nd and Ellis Sanford Health clinic says parents should follow.

“Back to sleep is the biggest thing. Basically found in the 80’s that when babies were placed on their back to sleep the risk of SIDS declined drastically in our country,” Reece said.

Mayo Clinic says SIDS, or sudden unexplained infant death usually occurs to a seemingly healthy baby, less than a year old, during sleep.

“It’s sort of not understood but it’s a low risk thing that can happen but still we want to decrease their risk because that’s very devastating,” Reece said.

Like most parents, Joslyn admits she had fears in the beginning.

“When she was really little I would pretty much sleep with my hand on her chest just to make sure that she was breathing,” Andrea said.

She says learning proper sleep safety techniques from doctors and other parents has been a big help. Because even things a parent may not consider dangerous, like a stuffed animal, could cause harm.

“If you look at old books about children you see the fluffy teddy bear, it’s all pretty and decked out, and there’s pink and blue. We don’t want any of that anymore. It’s kind of a lonely crib, but it should just be the crib and the mattress and a sheet over the mattress that’s tucked in firmly,” Reece said.

That includes pillows and baby bumpers lining the inside of the crib too. By eliminating those objects, the risk of suffocation goes down.

And when it comes to car seats experts say parents shouldn’t leave a child sleeping unattended in a car seat for an extended period of time.

“There’s concern about when they’re in the car seat the angle of the neck, is sort of positioned a bit more forward so sometimes that can cut off air supply,” Reece said.

A lot of guidelines, with your child’s safety at the top of the list.

Dr. Reece also suggests parents make sure their child’s crib is safety approved– stating that the bars in newer cribs no longer go down which adds to their safety.

For more information on infant sleep safety, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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