NEWPORT NEWS-Newport News recently launched the “On the Safe Side” Sleep Campaign to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in honor of Safe Sleep And SIDS Awareness Month.
Research indicates that unsafe bedding such as soft or loose blankets in a baby’s sleep space is a leading cause of infant death. Since January 2021, five infant deaths in Newport News have been related to unsafe sleeping conditions.
To prevent any future deaths, the Newport News Department of Human Services created the “On the Safe Side” initiative as a way to educate parents, caregivers, and others about safe sleeping practices for babies.
“Raising a child can be overwhelming, and new parents especially have a great deal they must learn when they bring their baby home from the hospital,” said Ven Thomas, Director of the Newport News Department of Human Services, in a release. “This campaign shares critical information with parents and encourages them to remain ‘On the Safe Side’ when it comes to their child’s sleep practices. We are also conducting extensive outreach to expectant and new parents to ensure safe sleep remains top of mind.”
Each week, Newport News will distribute helpful tips on social media. Tips are shared in a short, easy to follow format and include:
· Always place the baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.
· Use a firm and flat mattress in a safety-approved crib that is free of soft and loose bedding, such as bumpers, stuffed animals, and blankets.
· Place babies in their own sleep space – avoid co-sleeping.
· Make sure babies aren’t wearing loose items, such as hats, bows or clip-on pacifiers.
· Do not use a seat or swing as a permanent sleep space.
The Newport News “On the Safe Side” campaign is part of a national “Safe to Sleep” initiative. To learn more, click here.