Ohio has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation, ranked 47th with a rate of 7.6 in 2012. Although many organizations have been working tirelessly to improve the statewide rate, Ohio continues to fall behind nationally. As leaders in our communities, hospitals are ideal partners to help address this issue in a coordinated and targeted way.
Earlier this year, the OHA Board of Trustees approved an aggressive, multi-strategy plan to work with hospitals and other organizations to reduce the infant mortality rate by five percent each year from 2014-2016, ultimately improving Ohio’s rate to 6.0 by 2020.
Many factors influence infant mortality, but in Ohio each year more than 150 incidents are sleep-related. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Ohio Department of Health recommend that all infants sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib – every time they are placed to sleep – to reduce these unfortunate tragedies.
Every week in Ohio... 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environment.
Ohio’s hospitals have a unique opportunity to reach the parents of nearly 140,000 newborns every year with educational messages about the importance of providing a safe sleeping environment. The Ohio Hospital Association has launched this exciting statewide campaign to position hospitals as leaders and examples of safe sleep, educate parents and other caregivers and provide the necessary support to reverse this trend.
About the Initiative
This initiative focuses on three specific focus areas:
- Modeling safe sleep practices in the hospital;
- Educating parents and families about safe sleep practices at home; and
- Advocating and educating community members about the importance of safe sleep.
Did you know that the features of your baby’s sleep area can affect his/her risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation? Reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death by creating a safe sleep environment for your baby.
How can you make a safe sleep environment?
- Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back, for naps and at night.
- Have the baby share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else. Try room sharing—keeping baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep.
- Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved* crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
- Keep soft objects, toys, pillows, crib bumpers, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Dress your baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable, and leave the blanket out of the crib. A one-piece sleeper or wearable blanket can be used for sleep clothing. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
- Safety-approved* portable play yards can also provide a safe sleep environment for your baby. When using a portable play yard, always place baby to sleep on his or her back and keep toys, pillows, and blankets out of the play yard. These actions help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
*Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information about safety approved baby sleep areas: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/cribs/