At Methodist Healthcare, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. That includes the health and safety of our tiniest patients. Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital Metropolitan and Methodist Hospital Stone Oak are accredited as Cribs for Kids Safe Sleep Leaders, ensuring our commitment to make sure babies are as safe and healthy as possible while sleeping.
Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID, formerly known as SIDS) is when an abrupt and unexpected death of a baby under the age of 1 occurs. The cause of SUID is still largely unknown. However, studies show that SUID often occurs while the baby is asleep, in their sleeping environment.
What are Safe Sleep best practices?
To create a safe-sleep environment for your baby, practice the ABCs of Safe Sleep:
- Alone – avoid putting objects, or other people – including siblings or caregiver – in your babies sleep environment
- Back – your baby should sleep on his/her back
- Crib – create a sleeping space for your baby, such as a crib or bassinet
Other tips for creating a safe-sleep environment:
- Ensure your baby has a firm surface to sleep on, covered by a fitted sheet
- If you are able to breastfeed your baby, studies show babies who breastfeed have a lower risk for SUID
- If your baby uses a pacifier, avoid using one with a string while your baby sleeps to decrease the risk of choking or strangling
- Keep your baby’s sleep are clear of any soft objects (pillows, blankets, toys, etc.)
- Keep your baby's sleep area in the same room as you for at least the first six months (do not fall asleep with your baby – they should be alone in their sleep environment)
- Move your baby to a firm sleep surface (crib or bassinet) if your baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, etc.
- Never place your baby to sleep on a couch
- Put your baby on his/her back to sleep until they are at least 1-year-old
Why does it matter?
There are around 3,500 sleep related deaths among babies each year in the U.S. according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). 1,400 of those deaths were attributed to SIDS and 900 were due to accidental suffocation or strangulation. Safe Sleep practices can reduce the risk of SIDS and other infant sleep related deaths.
Requirements for Safe Sleep hospitals
All of our Certified Safe Sleep Hospitals are committed to:
- Having a Safe Sleep policy statement that includes the Infant Safe Sleep guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Educating staff on the Safe Sleep policy and provide training for Safe Sleep guidelines
- Providing education to parents on Safe Sleep practices as observed by the hospital
Knowledge of Safe Sleep guidelines is essential to anyone providing care for an infant.