Safe Sleep Kits at All Monroe County Hospitals
The Baby Safe Sleep Coalition is now providing safe sleep educational materials to the parents of approximately 10,500 infants born annually in Monroe County hospitals.
Safe Sleep Kits provided by the Coalition were introduced at Rochester General Hospital in August 2014 and at Unity Hospital in January 2015 The Coalition received grants from the Genesee Valley Medical Society, the Polisseni Foundation and the Greater Rochester Health Foundation to provide 1,995 take-home safe sleep kits to RGH and 800 kits to Unity Hospital.
Following positive feedback from hospital staff and parents, the program has been expanded to include URMC Strong Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital and Highland Hospital.
The kits reinforce safe sleep information shared by hospital staff and are designed to be taken home by parents to share with family members and others who help take care of the new baby.
The kit includes a brochure and door hanger with the safe sleep message; a baby board book, Sleep Baby Safe and Snug that beautifully and simply illustrates the recommended safe sleep environment, and FAQs about safe sleep. A wearable blanket (sleep sack) recommended as an alternative to using blankets or other bedding in the baby’s crib is being provided at several participating hospitals.
Golisano Children’s Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospitals recently were recognized as the first in New York State to be named “Gold Safe Sleep Champions” by the Crib for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program in conjunction with their commitment to the enhanced safe sleep education project. Highland Hospital secured grant funding this month to purchase sleep sacks for distribution with the Coalition kits to their parents of newborns.
“We commend these hospitals for putting safe sleep education directly into the hands of every new parent as part of a community effort to eliminate sleep environment risks that have already claimed the lives of 75 healthy infants between 2007 and 2014,” said Susanne VanStrydonck, co-chair of the Baby Safe Sleep Coalition.
“The Coalition has collaborated with area pediatricians and agencies that work with children and families to communicate the safe sleep message. Recently, we launched a similar educational program with OB practices. Now, with the addition of these hospitals, our message is reinforced at exactly the right moment to ensure that parents know the risks of an unsafe sleep environment and how to make sure that their new baby sleeps safely.”