Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano Encourages Safe Newborn Sleep, SIDS Prevention By Example|
PLANO, Texas — Nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano are taking an extra step to help educate new parents about how to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In addition to traditional teaching methods used to introduce new parents to important guidelines defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas Health Plano is now giving each set of new parents a wearable infant blanket to take home. The blanket is designed to help promote safe sleep, said Teri Rutherford, BSN, RNC, LRN, newborn nursery supervisor.
“We’ve always done SIDS education, but we wanted to take the next step and model the behavior for new parents,” Rutherford said. “We think that if we show them how to do it in the hospital, there is more of a chance they will do it at home.”
The wearable blankets, complete with instructions and Velcro tabs, are specifically designed to help take the guesswork out of swaddling and keep all fabrics away from the baby’s face and mouth, Rutherford said. Having fabrics or any soft items near a baby’s mouth during sleep time can cause the baby to begin breathing in his or her own carbon dioxide. The blankets also have an embroidered “Back is Best” message, further encouraging placement of babies on their backs to sleep.
SIDS remains the leading cause of death among infants aged one to 12 months in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the exact cause of SIDS remains unknown, the incidence of SIDS deaths dropped 53 percent from 1992 to 2001 — during which time the government led a widespread public awareness campaign called “Back to Sleep.”* The campaign encouraged the placement of babies on their backs while sleeping.**
Encouraging back sleeping is a key element of the Texas Health Plano safe sleep initiative, said Tracy Morgan, director of women’s and infant’s services.
“There are 10 key steps that we teach, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, and the wearable blankets help us demonstrate several of these steps,” Morgan said. “Providing this service to our community is just the right thing to do.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for SIDS prevention:
There is no evidence to show that home electronic or cardiac monitors decrease the incidence of SIDS. Do not rely on these devices as a SIDS prevention strategy.
Educate anyone who cares for babies about these important tips:
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* American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement