Keep newborns safe in their cribs

DEAR EDITOR:

The Ohio Department of Health Board states, “Every week in Ohio, three babies die in an unsafe sleep environment.”

To think, 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 the importance of a 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 ABCs of safe sleep.

The first step to safe sleep is “Alone.” Caregivers should never hold a baby and nap on the bed, couch or in the chair. There is no proven safe 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 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 baby on the back, dress the baby 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 fitted tight sheet. The crib should be empty, only having the baby in the crib. If there are bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals, they need to go.

There should be no excuses to following these simple guidelines to keep newborns safe.

The ODH offers free cribs for people who need them. Taking this issue out in the community in hopes the number of deaths will decrease.

AUGUSTA FRONZAGLIO

Vienna

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