HONOLULU (KHON2) — A proclamation has been issued by Governor Josh Green, M.D. in which he declared October to be Infant Safe Sleep Month.
This is in conjunction with the national observance of Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month which is observed nationally.
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It is meant to remind parents and caregivers that sleep-related infant deaths are often preventable.
“Each year, there are about 3,400 sleep-related deaths among babies in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Annie Bell, supervisor in DOH’s Maternal and Child Health Branch.
The ABCs of safe sleep are based on the following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help parents and caregivers reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths:
The ABCs of safe sleep are based on the following recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They are set up to help parents and caregivers reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths.
- Always place your baby on its back for naptime, bedtime, and any sleep-time.
- Never put any soft objects such as pillows, blankets, toys, or crib bumpers where your baby is sleeping.
- Infants should sleep in your room and close to your bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first six months.
- Use a firm, flat, non-inclined sleep surface to reduce the risk of suffocation or wedging/entrapment.
- Breastfeed and/or feed human milk to both full-term and preterm infants for at least the first six months if possible.
- Offer your baby a pacifier at naptime and bedtime to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Never smoke or use substances around your baby or let anyone smoke or use substances around your baby. Smoking and using substances such as alcohol, marijuana, opioids, or other illicit drugs should be avoided during pregnancy and after birth.
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“To help increase awareness of safe-sleep messaging, DOH has created a new Safe Sleep Hawai‘i webpage and is running a year-long media campaign highlighting the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib,” added Bell.