October 06, 2020
Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month - Resources for Educators
By: Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE | 0 Comments
October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. These important topics are not just mentioned in October should be routinely discussed in childbirth education classes, as expectant parents need access to evidence based information that helps prevent infant mobility and mortality. The Safe to Sleep campaign, from the National Institutes of Health has an extremely robust and generous website jam-packed with activities, resources, videos, graphics, social media content and more for you to access, use and share with the families you work with. This information is available in both English and Spanish.
Each week has a different theme that supports the Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month campaign. Accompanying material makes it easy to highlight the weekly themes and focus on the specific message:
- Week 1 (October 4–10) - Always place baby on his or her back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Week 2 (October 11–17) - Use a firm and flat mattress in a safety-approved crib, free of soft and loose bedding, such as bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets.
- Week 3 (October 18–24) - Share your room with baby. Keep baby close to your bed but on a separate surface, for example, in their own crib or bassinet.
- Week 4 (October 25–31) - Breast/chestfeed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
There is also information about about a #SafeSleepSnap activity that encourages safe infant sleep advocates and infant caregivers to come together on social media to share safe infant sleep images and messages, help normalize safe sleep practices, and celebrate the role that all caregivers have in keeping baby safe during every sleep.
There is a fun, interactive "Safe Sleep Environment Tool" that educators can use in classes and share with parents, that can further clarify what is meant by a safe sleep environment and what are some of the things that parents can do to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as breast/chestfeeding and attending all well-baby check ups. You and the families you work with can access this interactive tool here.
The Safe to Sleep campaign also has a Healthy Native Babies Project Toolkits and Guides designed for Native Americans and Alaska Natives with culturally appropriate messaging that directly speaks to Indigenous families.
Families need information about how to protect their babies from SIDS. The Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness campaign is a robust and useful resource for educators to access that makes sharing information and resources, easy and fun. How are you covering this topic in your childbirth classes? Share in the comments below.
TagsChildbirth education SIDS Safe sleep Safe Sleep Guidelines SIDS Awareness Sharon Muza SafetoSleep