UH News

University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center Joins “Safe Sleep is Good4Baby” Campaign

Friday, March 27, 2015

ELYRIA, OH – The Family Birth Center at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center is proud to be a member of the Ohio Hospital Association’s statewide initiative – “Safe Sleep is Good4Baby.” Ohio has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation, ranked 47th with a rate of 7.6 in 2012.

“Although many organizations have been working tirelessly to improve the statewide rate, Ohio continues to fall behind nationally,” said Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “As health care leaders in our communities, hospitals are ideal partners to help address this issue in a coordinated and targeted way.” Many factors influence infant mortality, but in Ohio each year more than 150 incidents are sleep-related (including SIDS, accidental suffocation, positional asphyxia, overlay and undetermined causes). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Ohio Department of Health recommend that all infants sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib – every time they are placed to sleep – to avoid these unfortunate tragedies.

Ohio’s hospitals have a unique opportunity to reach the parents of nearly 140,000 newborns every year with educational messages about the importance of providing a safe sleeping environment. Taking advantage of this opportunity, OHA is kicking off an exciting initiative: Safe Sleep is Good4Baby, to draw attention to the vital part that safe sleep plays in reducing Ohio’s infant mortality rate. The campaign also educates parents, caregivers and the community about the importance of providing safe sleeping environments for infants.

“We’re passionate about educating our new parents about the principals of the Safe Sleep program,” said Tara Sostakowski, RN, nurse manager of the Family Birth Center at UH Elyria Medical Center. “Evidence has shown that following the ABCs of safe sleep (Alone, Back, Crib) provides the safest environment for babies, and many of our patients are simply not aware of it.”

As a participant in the campaign, the Family Birth Center at UH Elyria Medical Center will be taking the following steps:

  • Modeling safe sleep practices in the hospital
  • Counseling new parents and families about safe sleep, and providing parents with a safe sleep diaper bag, sleeper, board book and educational materials
  • Advocating and educating in the community about the importance of safe sleep

For more information about this campaign, visit www.ohanet.org/safesleep.

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