November 25, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Sleeping Environment Vital to Infant Safety

While a massive crib recall has parents’ attention, and families prepare to travel for the holiday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reminds parents to ensure their child has a safe sleep environment.

“In the last two years we have had nine infants in Greene County die as a result of unsafe sleep environments,” says administrator of maternal, child and family health Pam Bryant, MA, RN, CPHA. “It’s vital to remind parents not to place infants on pallets, in adult beds or in other unsafe sleeping environments.”

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards. The mattress should be firm, covered only with a tight-fitting crib sheet, and should fit snugly in the crib. Parents should not place anything soft, fluffy or loose in the crib with an infant. This includes blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals or other soft objects.

“Play yards, bassinets and cradles are a safe alternative for younger babies,” adds Bryant. “Be sure to follow all size and weight restrictions for the product you use and do not add any extra padding or soft bedding.”

It is not safe to place babies in adult beds or to fall asleep with them while sitting on a couch or in an armchair. Babies need their own separate, sleeping space to protect them from SIDS, suffocation and accidents. Parents can place the baby’s bed next to their bed to allow closer supervision of the baby.

For more information on safe sleep, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/health or call 417-864-1658. For information on the crib recall, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10046.html.

Media contact:
Jaci McReynolds
Public Information Administrator
Springfield-Greene County Health Department
227 E Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO 65802
(417) 874-1205 office
(417) 830-9511 cell
jmcreynolds@springfieldmo.gov

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov