Safe Sleep for Infants Video Transcript
We have developed a program called the PIERCE project and it’s all about safe sleep. PIERCE stands for Protecting Infants Early: Reduces Catastrophic Events. My son was born still many years ago and at that time there weren’t a lot of support systems available. I began to look at ways I could potentially be of help to other families through my own loss and so began the HEAL program. Subsequently in 2011 we had 11 deaths of infants under the age of 12 months and nine of those were sleep related deaths; huge for a community this size. Immediately we began to say, ‘we need to be doing something better’. While we’re not doing anything wrong, in our opinion, maybe not providing as much information as we have available to us. We need to get out there; we need to share with the community.
Through he PIERCE project we’ve found that it’s imperative that all caregivers be informed about safe sleep environments for infants. It isn’t just about the parents because most babies are in the care of someone else at some point of time during that first year of life. For outside caregivers it’s as imperative for them to know this information as well. We actually provide parents with brochures, lots of information. I have a flyer that identifies each of the points we want them to be aware of. We also have what we consider to be our ‘safe sleep contract.’ It reviews the same information we have discussed and the parents have watched on a video and the information has been provided to them. Then they acknowledge that they have received that information and they will pass that same information on to any caregiver.
What is Safe Sleep?
Safe sleep means a safe environment for babies to sleep in. Our term for this entire project says, safe sleep, every infant, every caregiver, every time. What that means is that babies sleep most safely on their back, in their own sleep space, crib, pack ‘n play and alone. They are not meant to share other sleep spaces with other adults, children, animals or pets. Babies don’t need lots of things in their crib. It needs to be very stark. It needs a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet. They don’t need lots of extraneous things. They don’t need bumper pads to prevent them from sticking an arm out; that’s not going to happen. They don’t need quilts and pillows and those kinds of things that could potentially get near their face and cause accidental suffocation. Sometimes entrapment issues occur when babies are placed in adult beds, actually wedged between the mattress and the wall. A safe environment for a baby is uncluttered, undisturbed individual safe sleep space.
Safe Sleep as Baby Grows
Many parents ask, ‘what if my baby can roll one direction but not roll back’. He’s on his back and he rolls over to his tummy . . . do I allow him to stay there or do I need to roll him back. The recommendation again, from the experts, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, is that once baby can roll to their tummy and back to their back, they don’t have to be repositioned. But, the recommendation is for those babies that only roll one direction particularly from back to belly, that they do be repositioned.
Non crib devices and Safe Sleep
Babies sleeping in car seats and bouncy seats and swings, it’s okay for baby to settle in a bit to get a little sleepy in those devices but then the recommendation is they be moved from those devices to their own crib or separate sleep space.
Breastfeeding and Safe Sleep
For moms who are breast feeding, it’s perfectly okay if they would like to nurse in bed but once mom starts to get drowsy or a little sleepy, please put the baby back into his/her crib.
ABC’s of Safe Sleep
This is not rocket science. We are not asking you to buy the million dollar set up for this baby; we’re not asking you to do things that are out of the realm of possibility. If that were the case, if we were asking you to bring them in once a week or something like that but it’s not. It’s the basics. It’s Alone on their back in their crib.