Kent State Trumbull Partners with Trumbull Memorial Hospital to Promote Sleep Safety
On Oct. 18, students and faculty from Kent State University Trumbull’s nursing program presented Sleep Sacks ™ for newborns at Trumbull Memorial Hospital.
Over the last year, Kent State Trumbull and its nursing faculty have focused on ways they could promote sleep safety in an effort to reduce the region’s infant mortality rate (IMR).
Ohio has one of the nation’s highest rates at just over 7.4 percent. The IMR in Trumbull County is slightly above the state average (7.6 percent) and in Mahoning County it is below (6.0 percent). By providing Sleep Sacks™, holding awareness events, and adding safe sleep instruction to nursing curriculum, Kent State Trumbull faculty hopes to see these numbers decrease.
Kent State Trumbull’s Student Nurses Association and faculty raised money to purchase sleep sacks for the babies born in the community.
A sleep sack replaces loose blankets in the crib so a baby will stay covered; protecting against the chance of a blanket covering a baby’s face and disrupting its breathing.
“We commend Kent State Trumbull on bringing additional awareness to the importance of implementing sleep safety,” said Marsha LaPolla, Director of Women’s Services at Trumbull Memorial Hospital. “Taking the necessary steps to provide a safe environment for newborns is crucial. We work with our local obstetricians to encourage our parents to attend Trumbull’s free pregnancy education classes that we offer. We also provide literature and educate our patients before they are discharged.”
According to Ohio Department of Health, “Every week in Ohio, three babies die in unsafe sleep environments. Sleep-related infant deaths are among the most preventable infant deaths by practicing the ABCs of safe sleep — place babies Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.”
Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that can help give babies a safe start in life include:
- Babies should sleep alone. It’s understandable that parents like to be close to their little ones while they sleep, however, there is a significant risk of suffocation from bedding or parents rolling onto the baby if they co-sleep. The safest place for baby is in his or her own bed.
- Baby’s mattress should be firm and safety approved.
- Baby should sleep in the same room as his or her caregivers. Studies have shown a significant reduction in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when baby sleeps in his or her own bed in the same room as caregivers.
- Keep soft items out of baby’s bed. This includes crib bumpers, loose bedding, pillows and plush toys.
- Put baby to sleep on his or her back. Face-up is the safest position for a newborn.
- Breastfeed safely at night. According to a study released by Temple University Hospital, 59 percent of mothers who exclusively breastfed their babies and used a Baby Box said it made breastfeeding easier, due to the proximity of baby’s bed at night.
- Give baby a pacifier. Use a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string, cord or stuffed animal, but don’t force your baby to use it if he or she resists. If the pacifier falls out during sleep, there’s no need to put it back in baby’s mouth.
- Give baby plenty of tummy time when awake. This will help strengthen the muscles in baby’s back and neck, and can help them grow strong.
- Don’t let baby get too hot during sleep. Dress your baby in no more than one layer and maintain a room temperature comfortable for adults.
- Don’t smoke or let others smoke around your baby. Infants exposed to smoke are three times more likely to suffer SIDS-related death.
Pictured left-right Kent State Trumbull nursing students, Kelly Jacops and Kelly Speicher; Marsha LaPolla, Director of Women’s Services at Trumbull Memorial Hospital; and Kent State Trumbull Nursing program lecturers, Lynne Walker and Kimberly Depaul.