KidsCentral, Preventing Sleep Related Deaths Among Babies
OCALA - When parents say "lullaby and goodnight" they plan on their infant waking up, but losing a sleeping infant is a terrifying possibility to parents and it has become a reality here for some in North Central Florida.
The Department of Children and Families is hosting a Safe to Sleep campaign throughout the state of Florida. One local organization is joining in by trying to save babies one crib at a time.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 20 babies died in Alachua County last year and another 20 in Marion County. Many of those deaths were sleep related and one Marion county organization is trying to reduce the risks.
Sometimes having a crib isn't enough. Education on how to put your baby to sleep is also important. Summer Mueller from Ocala was breast feeding her baby Parker before she dozed off and fell asleep. While sleeping with your baby, "co-sleeping" may be common, it can also be deadly. "I knew about the risks that they could fall off the bed or that you could roll over your baby but I never know about the re-breathing," Mueller said.
2 and a half week old Parker died of re-breathing. Re-breathing is when an infant breathes in expired air from another person and doesn't get enough oxygen.
Kids Central in Marion County is trying to prevent that from happening again through their Baby Sleep Basics Program.
"The knowledge that we provide through our classes for any caregivers of an infant are about safe sleeping, how to prevent infant deaths, also about sudden infant deaths syndrome and sudden unexpected infant death syndrome," Debra Wise the Deputy Chief of Preventions Programs at Kids Central said.
Besides offering free classes to the community, kids central gives away training "Pack and Plays" to families in need. They hope to teach as many parents as they can, the right way to put their children to sleep. "You're not supposed to have bumper pads, you're not supposed to wrap a baby in a blanket unless it's in a specific way... You're not supposed to have those little wedges that are in your crib... Nothing. A child should be alone, on their back and in a crib."
And if you do use a blanket make sure you use a light blanket and tuck it under the mattress firmly while the baby is at the foot of the crib, kind of like a pocket. That way it will be harder for the baby to wiggle out.
Mueller said, "A lot of parents think that it can't happen to them... You know they have six kids and they're still here but the one time that I slept with my son and I wasn't planning on it... It happened to him so it can happen just like that."
One way to remember how to put your babies to sleep is by learning your ABC’s. They should sleep alone, on their back and in their cribs.
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