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Baby Health: Safe Sleep

In 2012, 16 Guilford County infants died in their sleep due to unsafe sleep practices and/or environments. While sleep environment-related deaths, such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), are not always predictable or preventable, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk.

Recently, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development released additional recommendations on safe sleep environments for infants to help reduce the incidence of sleep environment-related death, adapted as the ABC’S for Safe Sleep:

  • A – Alone: babies should not share a bed with anyone.
  • B – Back: babies should be put to rest on their backs.
  • C – Crib: the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib or bassinet; flat surface; no toys or heavy blankets.
  • S – Smoking: smoke exposure increases a baby’s risk of SIDS.

If it’s cold, dress your baby in warm sleep clothing like a wearable blanket instead of covering them with one. The ABC’S of sleep should be used whenever a baby sleeps – whether it’s a nap, at night, at daycare or while a loved one is watching them.

Tummy time is an important aspect of every baby’s growth, but babies should only be put on their stomach while they are alert and under supervision.

A safe sleep space can be as simple as a cardboard box. Baby boxes, safe sleep boxes made out of cardboard, are now available in Greensboro through a local partnership with the Baby Box Company. To learn more, visit babyboxuniversity.com, sign up and start learning. If you’d like more information, call the Cone Health Women’s Hospital at 336-832-6500.

In an effort to promote safe sleep and reduce sleep environment-related deaths throughout the community, Cone Health Women’s Hospital became a Safe Sleep Model of Excellence in October 2014. To become certified, Women’s Hospital assembled an exceptional safe sleep initiative team dedicated to staff training, patient education through inpatient modeling and prenatal classes, as well as community outreach.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Kaye Gable is the program director for Cone Health’s Pediatric Teaching Service and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Gable is a 1983 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency in pediatrics at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in 1986.  Dr. Gable also serves as a clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.