Michigan's First Lady, Sue Snyder, was at Sparrow Hospital on Wednesday to bring awareness to safe sleep practices for infants.
"It’s important for parents and caregivers to place their infants in a safe sleep environment," she said at a press conference. “In Michigan, a baby dies because of unsafe sleep every two or three days,” First Lady Sue Snyder said. “This is an unacceptable statistic, and until we see the day when this number is zero, our work is far from over."
September is Infant Safe Sleep Month in Michigan.
During this time, Snyder has been working with the MDHHS to generate awareness of infant safe sleep and highlight successes in Michigan.
“I am confident that by working together, we can help ensure no family has to experience the loss of a child due to unsafe sleep practices.”
Data shows that 142 Michigan babies have died of sleep-related causes in 2016. Sleep-related deaths are those that involve unsafe sleep environments.
Those type of environments include soft bedding, items in the crib like toys or blankets, an infant sleeping in an adult bed or on a couch, an infant sleeping with another adult, or an infant sleeping on their stomach or side.
From 2010 through 2016, there were 1,013 sleep-related infant deaths in Michigan. In 577 of the 1,013 deaths, or 57 percent, the infant was sleeping on the same surface as another person or an animal. In 479 of the incidents, or 47 percent, the baby was sleeping in an adult bed.
To reduce these types of infant deaths, parents and caregivers should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines to create safe sleep environments for infants:
• Place infants on their back in a crib, bassinet or pack-n-play every sleep time.
• Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
• Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib, including pillows, blankets and bumper pads.
• Do not use wedges or positioners.
• Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends infants sleep in the same room as parents, however, not in the same bed, for at least the first six months of their lives.
“Michigan has taken many actions over the last several years to improve safe sleep awareness,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “The Infant Safe Sleep Act of 2014 requires hospitals to provide safe sleep education to families after the birth of a baby. MDHHS provides safe sleep education grants to local communities and works with medical and child care providers, faith-based organizations and others so that they can spread the word. We need to do more until no baby is lost due to unsafe sleep.”
"A safe sleep contract signed by new parents on the Sparrow Mother Baby Unit helps to reinforce all the practices of safe sleep for infants," said Kathleen Marble, director of Sparrow Hospital’s Women and Children’s Services.
To learn more on infant safe sleep, visit www.michigan.gov/safesleep .