Approximately 100 infants in North Carolina die each year 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.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 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.
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 as a Safe Sleep Model of Excellence, 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.
Donna Wear is a registered nurse and safe sleep staff educator at Cone Health Women’s Hospital. Wear received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from UNCG in 1983, and is certified as a low-risk newborn nurse. She has been with Cone Health for 33 years.