Temple University Hospital Provides Safe Means for Babies’ Sleep
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ May 16, 2016
Hoping to raise awareness about infant deaths that are caused by unsafe infant sleep positions, as well as reduce the number of such deaths, Temple University Hospital is giving all new moms something to take home with them when they give birth: a baby box. The boxes, which are made of thick cardboard and include a small baby mattress and sheet, are part of a safe sleep education program headed by the hospital. Read the full story about the baby boxes at Philly.com.
Infant Mortality Rate in the U.S.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 24,440 infant deaths recorded in the U.S. in the year 2014. The leading causes of infant death were congenital malformations/deformations, gestational disorders and low-term birth weights, and SIDs. SIDs, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, claims the lives of about 3,500 infants per year, and while the specific cause of death is unknown, the CDC reports that most cases of SIDs occur when an infant is “sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.”
What Is an Unsafe Sleeping Environment?
An unsafe sleeping environment can refer to many things; one unsafe sleeping environment that has become a hot button issue amongst parents is co-sleeping, where infants share a bed with their parents. Studies show that co-sleeping increases the risk of infant death, particularly amongst babies under four months of age.
But co-sleeping is not the only unsafe sleep environment that increases risk of SIDs. A safe sleep environment, according to the National Institutes of Health, includes one where:
- Pillows, blankets, and crib bumpers are not used, as these items increase risk of suffocation;
- Soft objects are kept out of the baby’s sleep area;
- The room in which a baby is sleeping is smoke-free;
- The baby sleeps on a firm surface;
- Nothing covers the baby’s head;
- The baby’s sleep area is next to the mother’s, but is not shared; and
- The baby sleeps on their back.
Baby Boxes Provide Safe Sleep Environment
Recognizing the risks of SIDs, Temple University Hospital’s baby boxes are designed to meet the safe sleep standards above. Not only are the boxes safe – providing a firm sleep surface for babies without blankets or pillows – but they are also easy to move around the house (and even have handles on the sides), and can be kept right next to parents’ beds. The beds replace the traditional crib, making safe sleeping an affordable and realistic option for all families, even those that do not have the space or the economic means for bassinets or cradles.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Serving You
The law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. would like to congratulate Temple University Hospital for their proactive measures in reducing SIDs and helping new parents to understand safe infant sleep environments. Educating parents about how to ensure their babies get a safe night’s sleep is essential, and will hopefully reduce the number of sleep-related infant deaths that occur in Philadelphia every year (which has one of the highest rates of infant deaths in the country).
If you have questions about infant mortality or believe that your infant’s death was the result of medical malpractice, reach out to us today.