City health officials in Philadelphia launch ‘Sleeping Safely’ Public Awareness Campaign after staggering statistics were released Tuesday about infant deaths.
Officials said that 76 infants died in unsafe sleeping environments during the past year and a half. That’s more babies dying in unsafe sleeping conditions than from neglect or physical abuse over the past 18 months.
Unsafe environments include “co-sleeping” — sleeping with an adult or older sibling — as well as placing the baby on a couch, chair, or in a cluttered crib.
Two women who lost their babies in co-sleeping accidents joined Acting Department of Human Services Commissioner Dr. Arthur Evans and Health Department Commissioner John Domzalski at the campaign’s launch Tuesday.
Experts say the safest way to put babies to sleep is on their backs in an uncluttered crib. Representatives from DHS’ partner Cribs for Kids program were also on hand Thursday to demonstrate the proper way to do it.
“There are so many dangers for baby in an adult bed. You can be rolled on top of, they fall off beds — they get trapped,” said Lisa Stalberg of Cribs for Kids
Tips for lowering the risk of sudden infant death syndrome:
- Always place a baby to sleep on his or her back.
- Don’t smoke around a baby or pregnant woman.
- Place a baby on a firm mattress.
- Remove soft, fluffy bedding and toys in sleep areas.
- Keep blankets away from a baby’s nose and mouth.
- Don’t use too many layers of clothing.