The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), recently awarded 30 Alabama organizations a total of $47,000 as part of its Alabama Safe Sleep Outreach Project under the Safe to Sleep campaign to support efforts to reduce the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death/Unsafe Sleep (SIDS/SUID) related environment deaths in the state. In Alabama, greater than 20 percent of the infant deaths in 2014 were from sleep related causes. Additionally, there is a disparity among the number of black infants compared to white infants that die from sleep related deaths in Alabama. The majority of these infant deaths are to full term, healthy birthweight infants, not to the expected low birthweight and preterm infants. It is imperative that all babies under one year of age be placed to sleep every time (including naptime) in their own sleep space (no bed, sofa, chair), in a safety approved crib, on their back. This reduces the risk of dying from SIDS/SUID by 50 percent. Evidence also shows that infants who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk of SIDS/SUID; therefore, it is important not to smoke before, during, and after pregnancy.
The opportunity for Alabama to work with the NICHD will help support educational initiatives that work to increase public awareness about the impact of SIDS/SUID and other sleep-related causes of infant death such as accidental suffocation, and ways to reduce these incidents - with emphasis being placed in African-American communities (but not excluding other racial/ethnic communities). The organizations and their contact person(s) who received funding up to $2,000 are listed here.
Alabama Safe Sleep Outreach Project Grant Awards
Alpha Ro Zeta Chapter Stork's Nest of Zeta Phi Beta
What is the safest way for your baby to sleep? Babies sleep safest when... they sleep alone on their back in an uncluttered crib or other safe sleep surface. Follow these simple "ABC's of Sleeping Babies" for guidance:
We, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend that the baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
Unless otherwise instructed by a pediatrician, an infant should always sleep on its back.
An infant sleeping on its side or stomach faces increased risk of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).
Infants should sleep without the aid of wedges and cushions.
Here is an excellent video about creating a safe sleep environment for your baby.
Railings should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart - tight enough that a soda can will not fit through them.
The mattress should be firm and covered with a tight, fitted sheet.
Keep your baby's crib clutter-free - no quilts, duvets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, etc.
Waterbeds, futons, recliners and sofas are not acceptable substitutes for a crib.
This video explains the latest crib safety standards, so you understand why that crib handed down from your parents may not be the safest option for your infant.
Alabama Collaborative on Safe Sleep
The Collaborative has produced a Position Statement providing valuable information about safe sleep issues and providing contact information for resources. The Collaborative has also developed a Step-by-Step Blueprint for the use of providers who are working to make the sleep environments in their facilities safer for infants.
Safe Sleep for Your Baby
The following video was produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health as part of the "Safe to Sleep" campaign.