Promoting safe sleep for babies

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A major push promoting safe sleep for babies is happening in Connecticut this month. Doctors say that lives are being lost over something that is easily preventable.

Shimona Sergant and her family welcomed their third baby this week at Yale-New Haven Hospital; A girl named Zoe.

Sergant knows how vulnerable an infant can be when it comes to their surroundings, especially while sleeping.

“When you know the danger than, you know, it makes you feel a lot better,” said Sergant.

More than a dozen different state agencies are coming together this month, reminding everyone about the importance of a safe sleep environment. The message to every parent and grandparent is that an infant should be on his or her back all alone in a crib, with nothing else.

“Other conditions include the fact that the crib should be empty of toys, blankets and bumpers,” said Dr. Ricka Wolman is the Director of Pediatrics for the Department of Children and Families.

Wolman says a study done in 2014 in Connecticut found that an unsafe sleep environment is the leading cause of preventable deaths in children under the age of 12 months. But that’s not all.

“We’ve seen deaths related to infants sleeping in adult beds, with adults and other children, falling to sleep in a couch or a chair often in an adult’s arms,” said Wolman.

Suffocation is the major risk these newborns face.

“You should ensure a safe sleep environment every nap, every sleep, every setting, every caregiver and that’s the message of sharing it universally,” said Wolman.

The goal now is to educate everyone, making sure no family is faced with the preventable loss of a child.

“I know it’s cute for them to have the blanket and the stuffed animal, but safety is first so I would say do not risk it. It’s not worth it,” said Sergant.

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