To the Editor:
The Ohio Department of Health states, “Every week in Ohio, 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environments.” It’s sad to think that new parents leave the hospital and sign a paper stating they understand the safe sleep rules, but babies are still dying. I think this issue needs to be stressed, and as a community we can get the information out. It’s not worth your newborn’s life to keep them in unsafe sleep environments. The best way to stress the issue is to keep releasing information and emphasizing the importance of safe sleep environment.
To create a safe sleep environment for your baby, one should follow three simple tasks: babies should be alone, on their backs, and in an empty crib also known as the ABC’s of safe sleep.
The first step to safe sleep is “Alone.” Caregivers should never hold a baby and nap on a bed, couch or in a chair. There is no proven way to share a bed with your baby, but you can place the baby in your room in a bassinet or crib near or next to your bed making it easier to be close to your baby.
The next step is placing the baby on its “Back.” The Ohio Department of Health says, “Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to choke than those who sleep on their stomachs.” When placing the baby on their back, dress them in light clothes and never use a blanket but instead a sleep sack, sleepers that fit correctly or wearable blankets.
The last step in creating safe sleep environment is the “Crib.” The baby needs to be placed on a firm mattress with a tight fitted sheet. The crib should be empty except for the baby. If there are bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals, they need to go.
There should be no excuses as to why people can’t follow these simple guidelines to keep their newborn safe. The ODH offers free cribs for people who need them. Making this issue more well-known in the community will hopefully decrease the number of deaths.
Augusta Fronzaglio, YSU SN