GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) September is Infant Safe Sleep Month and the Kent County Health Department is helping get the word out about safe sleep practices.
In Kent County in the last five years, there have been 37 sleep-related infant deaths. In each of these cases, unsafe sleep played a role. Unsafe sleep can include and infant sharing a sleep surface, sleeping on the couch, sleeping in a car seat, not sleeping on their back, or including a soft mattress, pillows, bedding, or other soft surfaces in the crib. Living with a smoker is also a factor.
Approximately 43% of infants who died of sleep-related causes were found on their stomach and 11% were on their side.
Parents fear if a baby is his or her on back, the baby will choke if they spit up during sleep. When on the back, the air tube is on top of the tube to the stomach. So if the baby spits up, the liquid flows back into the stomach and not the lungs. They don’t choke.
To ensure safe sleeping, parents and caregivers should follow the ABCs of infant sleep:
- A – Alone
- B – on the Back
- C – in an empty Crib
A free community event recognizes infant safe sleep month. The second annual Baby Buggy Walk in the Park will be held on Saturday, September 10 at Garfield Park in Grand Rapids from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include a one-mile walk around the park, light refreshments, carnival games with prizes, information booths of local agencies, and a drawing for give a ways. All are welcome to participate. The event will be held rain or shine.
Safe Sleep resources are available through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on their website.