Local hospitals join forces to promote Infant safe sleep awareness

All of the children here in Union Hospital's child development center get to nap. Sabrina Piper is a teacher at the school for the infants and says there's a specific way these infants get put to bed.

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 6:08 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- All of the children here in Union Hospital's child development center get to nap. Sabrina Piper is a teacher at the school for the infants and says there's a specific way these infants get put to bed.

"Nothing is to be in the crib with the child. They may have a pacifier. There are no blankets, there are no bumper pads, there’s no pacifier’s with stuffed animals on them," said Piper.

This is the method health care providers teach new parents to put their newborns to sleep. It's advice they say many parents aren't taking.

That's why Union Health, Regional Hospital, and the Vigo County Health Department joined forces. They're promoting infant safe sleep awareness month.

Jennifer Powell who represented Regional Hospital said they want to do everything they can to help prevent infant mortality.

"We're looking at about ten deaths per thousand births in our region which is the eight counties surrounding Terre Haute," said Powell.

"We strongly feel like infant mortality is not a health care problem,” said Jaimee Goodman with Union Health. “It is a community problem. And we need all hands on deck to solve this and to provide better outcomes for our babies."

They stress making sure infants sleep alone, on their backs and in their cribs. It's easy advice for parents that could save their children’s lives.

"I hope that everybody can learn to just lay their kids down on their backs and know that's the safest place for their kid. They need their space and they need a little bit of time to themselves where its safe for them to sleep," said Piper.

The state is also doing their part with the assistance of a grant. This was granted by the CDC to help prevent unexpected infant and child deaths.

This will work in conjunction with the CDC sudden unexplained infant death registry.

The state plans to use these funds to expand education for parents and caregivers but the first year will focus on training coroners.

They will learn how to conduct autopsy's when a child dies unexpectedly. This will allow a better understanding of the cause of an infant's death.

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