Knox Co. Health Department shares tips on safe sleeping for infants

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox Co. Health Department shares tips on safe sleeping for infants.

In 2012, officials say 121 babies died in Tennessee due to unsafe sleeping conditions, including co-sleeping. That includes sleeping in the same area as other children, pets, or adults, or sleeping in unsafe environments, such as couches, chairs or swings.

Here are the A-B-C’s of safe sleeping:

A is for alone: Always put the baby to sleep alone.
B stands for, “on the baby’s back,”: an infant should be placed to sleep on his or her side or stomach.
C is for crib: Always put a baby to sleep in a crib that is empty of other items such as pillows, toys, blankets and bumper pads.

If you can’t afford a crib, there is a resource in our community called, “East Tennessee Safe Sleep Initiative: Cribs for Kids.”

This local coalition is made up of organizations, including the Knox Co. Health Department. This grant helps provide infant beds and educational information to families in need.

To see if you qualify for assistance, email for more information or call (865) 215-5170

Original Article can be found at:

Grant helps Armstrong agency provide cribs to needy families

By Brad Pedersen
Thursday, July 2, 2015, 3:31 a.m.

Armstrong County Children, Youth and Family Services will be able to help at least 10 area babies sleep a little easier after receiving a mini-grant from Cribs for Kids, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit.

The agency Wednesday received 10 Safe Sleep Survival Kits, which include portable cribs, pacifiers, sheets and other necessities that it will provide to low-income families.

“Whenever we encounter families at our agency with a new baby, one of the first things we ask about is if they’ve got proper sleeping arrangements,” said CYFS Administrator Dennis Demagone. “We provide these to families if there is a need, so this going to help us out a lot.”

Cribs for Kids gave similar grants to 24 other organizations throughout the state, said spokeswoman Heather Glaser.

According to the organization’s most recent statistics, 84 infants in Pennsylvania died in their sleep in 2011. About 90 percent of the deaths were attributed to babies suffocating or choking while sleeping on a couch or the beds of their parents or siblings.

“A lot of these cases were because families couldn’t afford a crib for their child,” Glaser said. “These deaths are very sad and tragic because there’s no real warning and they could have been prevented if these babies had a safe sleep environment.”

Each year, the CYFS gives out about 20 portable cribs which cost about $75 each, Demagone said.

“This will take care of about half of the families who take help, which will be a considerable savings for us,” Demagone said.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or

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Connecticut Senate Passes ‘Safe Sleep’ Bill, DCF Seeks to Reduce Deaths

By Kate Ramunni,, @kateramunni on Twitter

Children who are the victims of child abuse grab headlines, but unsafe sleep conditions are far more deadly for infants in Connecticut, something that both the General Assembly and the state Department of Children and Families are addressing.

According to a report from the Office of the Child Advocate and the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel, three times as many children die from unsafe sleeping conditions as die from abuse. And the solution could be as simple as putting an infant to sleep on her back rather than her stomach.

Education is vital in assuring newborns go home to a safe environment and, this week, the state Senate passed a bill that requires hospitals to educate new parents how to assure their newborn is sleeping safely. It now goes before the state House of Representatives and, if approved, to the governor for his signature.

The bill makes it mandatory that parents or legal guardians of newborns are furnished with information on safe sleep practices on the baby’s discharge.

Changes are also coming to the way the Department of Children and Families deals with infant deaths after an eight-year study of infants who died whose families had DCF involvement. The department will focus on identifying infants at highest risk and increase oversight and services to those families.

Read More»

Missouri Legislature Passes Broad Child Protection Bill

Original Source-St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

By Nancy Cambria

The majority of Missouri’s child cares are set to undergo major changes in their infant sleep safety standards as well as enhanced transparency on whether they enroll children who aren’t fully immunized.

The Missouri Senate voted 33-1 Wednesday to approve a broad child protection bill sponsored by Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane.

The bill, headed to the desk of Gov. Jay Nixon, further empowers the state Children’s Division to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against children by other children under age 14 who demonstrate “problem sexual behavior.”

If signed by Nixon, all of Missouri’s licensed child care centers would be required to follow the most current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding sleep safety practices for infants under 1. That includes banning blankets, bumpers, soft toys and pillows from infant cribs, unless a parent has a physician waiver.

The last time Missouri revised its child care sleep safety standards was in 2011 when it required licensed caregivers to place infants on their backs during sleep to prevent sudden unexpected infant death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

The legislation was originally introduced by Rep. Jeanne Kirkton, R-Webster Groves, in response to the SIDS death of 7-month-old Owen Haber, who died last summer after napping with a weighted blanket at the state-licensed Webster Child Care Center. State records show that Owen’s parents had never been informed such a blanket was being used on their child to help him sleep.

“I’m grateful that we were able to do something meaningful, and that everyone realized that our babies have to be a priority,” Owen’s mom, Anna Haber, said Wednesday after the bill’s passage.

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Magazine, Internet images fail to promote infant sleep safety

Images of infants sleeping in unsafe environments are pervasive in women’s magazines and on stock photo websites, which could create confusion among parents and put babies at risk, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 25 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.
Since 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that babies be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of (SIDS). The AAP also discourages bed-sharing and advises parents to keep soft objects out of cribs, including pillows, blankets and bumper pads.

“Sleep-related deaths are the third leading cause of infant mortality, responsible for more than 3,500 deaths each year,” said lead author Michael Goodstein, MD, FAAP, attending neonatologist, WellSpan York Hospital, and clinical associate professor of pediatrics, Pennsylvania State University.

Since advertisements and photographs can influence behavior, Dr. Goodstein and his colleagues wanted to determine if magazine images and stock photos used by advertisers are consistent with AAP safe sleep recommendations.

Researchers searched the top three stock photo websites and 26 magazines published in 2014 that target expectant parents or parents of young children. They found 579 stock photos of sleeping babies not being held and 12 magazine pictures that accompanied articles or ads.

Pictures were analyzed for the infant’s sleep position, sleep location (e.g., crib) and presence of other people on the same sleep surface as the infant. In addition, researchers looked for bumper pads, blankets, stuffed animals and other items.

About half of the stock photos and 67 percent of magazine pictures showed babies correctly positioned on their backs. In addition, only about 16 percent of stock photos and 29 percent of magazine images depicted safe sleep environments according to AAP guidelines.

“One-third of the magazine images showed infants sleeping on the tummy, which doubles the risk of SIDS,” Dr. Goodstein said.

Stock photography websites are of even greater concern because images available on the Internet routinely depict hazardous sleep conditions regarding SIDS and suffocation, he added.

“Magazines that are geared toward expectant mothers and new parents and manufacturers of infant products and their advertisers need to take the lead in using images that promote infant safety,” Dr. Goodstein concluded.

More information: Dr. Goodstein will present “Infant Sleep Environments in the Media: An Evaluation of Images in Stock Photographs and Magazines Targeting Women of Childbearing Age” from 11:45 a.m.-noon PT Saturday, April 25. To view the study abstract, go to



4A’s Guidance: Safe Sleep Advertising 

The 4A’s, in partnership with Cribs for Kids® and First Candle, is providing guidelines to its member agencies on how to accurately portray sleeping babies in advertising.

SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year of age and claims the lives of nearly 2,500 babies each year. In addition, there are up to 2,000 sudden, unexpected infant deaths (SUID) caused by accidental suffocation or accidents during sleep each year. It’s important to follow the safe-sleep and safety recommendations set forth by First Candle and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. According to Cribs for Kids, more than 35,000 children and adults are alive today because they slept on their backs as infants.

A recent study conducted by Children’s National Medical Center found that in magazines targeting women of childbearing age, more than one-third of the images showed babies in unsafe sleep positions and more than two-thirds showed babies in unsafe sleep environments.

In response to these statistics, the 4A’s and infant sleep safety organizations recommend that agencies and advertisers create, select and use only images that depict babies (who appear to be 18 months of age or younger) in safe-sleep positions and safe-sleep environments.

The following are safe-sleep image guidelines:

  • All babies should be shown sleeping or being put to sleep on their backs. Babies who sleep on the stomach are twice as likely to die of SIDS.
  • All babies should be shown sleeping in a crib that meets current safety standards (available at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website), play yard or similar safe, but separate sleep environment. Babies should not be shown sleeping with an adult or on an adult bed, sofa, chair, or other unsafe place. Babies who share any sleep surface are three times more likely to die of SIDS and five to 10 times more likely to die if less than three months old.
  • Babies should not be shown sleeping in car seats, infant carriers, swings, slings or other similar products. There are many reports of babies dying while sleeping in these devices.
  • Never show babies sleeping in positioners or on wedges. These items can cause suffocation or increase the risk of SIDS.
  • Where possible, photos should demonstrate room sharing for babies under six months of age; showing the baby’s separate, safe sleep area in the room with, or alongside, the adult bed.
  • Photos should not show soft or loose bedding items such as blankets, quilts, soft or pillow-like bumpers, pillows or stuffed animals in the baby’s sleep space. Loose bedding has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS and possibly suffocation. Bumpers have also been associated with deaths and are not recommended.
  • If possible, show sleeping babies dressed in a wearable blanket or other sleeper to keep them warm instead of loose blankets. Loose blankets can cover the face and mouth leading to SIDS or suffocation. Avoid excessive layers of clothing; overheating is associated with SIDS.
  • Never show babies sharing a sleep space. Even multiples should each have their own crib. Infants dying of SIDS are five times more likely to have had another child in bed with them.
  • Consider showing a pacifier with a sleeping baby greater than one month of age. A specific reason has not been determined, but studies consistently show a protective effect against SIDS.
  • The baby’s sleep space should be shown a safe distance away from windows. If a window shade is shown, the cord should not be in close proximity to or within reach of the baby.
  • The crib mattress height should be shown at the lowest level for babies who appear to be able to pull or stand up.
  • Crib gyms or mobiles should not be used in photos of babies who appear to be five months of age and older.

Click here to see guidelines for safe-sleep images.

Click here for complete safe-sleep guidance.

Original Source:

New public-private partnership targets infant safety

DES MOINES | A new public-private partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and Meridian Health Plan of Iowa is targeting four Iowa counties, including Black Hawk, in the first multi-county Cribs for Kids program.

Women delivering babies at participating hospitals within the pilot counties will receive a free crib, if needed.IowaDPH

Funding from the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation program at IDPH with supplemental funds from Meridian Health Plan will assure parents who deliver an infant at hospitals in participating counties will receive a crib free of charge.

The participating counties are Hamilton (Hamilton County Public Hospital), Black Hawk (Covenant and Allan), Des Moines (Great River Medical Center), and Clinton (Mercy Medical Center-Clinton).

“Nationally, detailed data on sleep-related infant deaths reveals significant concerns about safe sleep practices,” said Methan Harris, Meridian Health Plan vice president. “More than half of infants that died of a sleep-related cause were bed-sharing at time of death.”

Sleep-related infant deaths are also an issue in Iowa. Such deaths include those due to SIDS, asphyxia or suffocation, or undetermined/unknown cause. An average of one death out of every 1,000 births in Iowa is attributed to a sleep-related cause. It is clear safe sleeping can save infant lives and safe cribs are an important part of a safe sleep environment.

The pilot project extends one year and success will be measured by assessing prevalence of safe sleep environments in intervention counties.

Link to original article:


BED SHARING Remains Greatest Risk Factor for Sleep Related Infant Deaths



Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant mortality have several known risk factors, but little is known if these factors change for different age groups. In a new study in the August 2014 Pediatrics, “Sleep Environment Risks for Younger and Older Infants,” published online July 14, researchers studied sleep-related infant deaths from 24 states from 2004-2012 in the case reporting system of the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths. Cases were divided by younger (0-3 months) and older (4 months to one year) infants. In a total of 8,207 deaths analyzed, majority of the infants (69 percent) were bed-sharing at the time of death. Fifty-eight percent were male, and most deaths occurred in non-Hispanic whites. Younger infants were more likely bed-sharing (73.8 percent vs. 58.9 percent), sleeping on an adult bed or on/near a person, while older infants were more likely found prone with objects, such as blankets or stuffed animals in the sleep area. Researchers conclude that sleep-related infant deaths risk factors are different for younger and older infants. Parents should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for a safe sleep environment and understand that different factors reflect risk at different developmental stages.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

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New SIDS Registry Tracks Clues to Infant Deaths

By Linda Carroll
First published June 8th 2014, 9:34 am

A death registry for infants may help researchers get a better handle on how many babies die each year from SIDS and other causes, a new government study suggests.

Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) accounts for one in three deaths in children aged 1 month to 1 year, explained the study’s lead author, Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, a senior scientist in the division of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s the leading cause of death in infants of this age,” she said.

Shapiro-Mendoza and her colleagues developed a new classification system to help medical examiners and coroners provide a more accurate description of the circumstances of each infant death.

“Right now there’s a lot of confusion, or lack of standard practice, among medical examiners and coroners when they’re deciding whether to call it SIDS or suffocation,” Shapiro-Mendoza said.

The hope is the new system will give a clearer picture of infant deaths. And that, Shapiro-Mendoza said, might help researchers learn more about the causes of these SUIDs, and perhaps come up with ways to prevent future deaths.

Once researchers have a better handle on how many deaths can be explained, they can start to look for reasons for the unexplained deaths. “Maybe we need to look at biological or medical factors,” Shapiro-Mendoza said.

Currently, SIDS is a “garbage diagnosis” that is used when the cause of death is unknown, said Dr. Marlyn Woo, a professor of pediatric pulmonology at the Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA. “With all these cases being labeled as SIDS, you can’t really home in on the cause of this epidemic. And you can’t learn how to identify those children who are at risk and find measures to prevent it.”

The new research will go a long way to helping scientists to find answers, Woo said.

“Thank goodness the federal government got involved and funded this classification system,” she added.

Link to Original Article:

SIDS deaths points to lack of oxygen

New insight into SIDS deaths points to lack of oxygen


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Research at the University of Adelaide has shed new light onto the possible causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which could help to prevent future loss of children’s lives.

In a world-first study, researchers in the University’s School of Medical Sciences have found that telltale signs in the brains of babies that have died of SIDS are remarkably similar to those of children who died of accidental asphyxiation.

“This is a very important result. It helps to show that asphyxia rather than infection or trauma is more likely to be involved in SIDS deaths,” says the leader of the project, Professor Roger Byard AO, Marks Professor of Pathology at the University of Adelaide and Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist with Forensic Science SA.

The study compared 176 children who died from head trauma, infection, drowning, asphyxia and SIDS.

Researchers were looking at the presence and distribution of a protein called β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the brain. This “APP staining”, as it’s known, could be an important tool for showing how children have died. This is the first time a detailed study of APP has been undertaken in SIDS cases.

“All 48 of the SIDS deaths we looked at showed APP staining in the brain,” Professor Byard says.

“The staining by itself does not necessarily tell us the cause of death, but it can help to clarify the mechanism.

“The really interesting point is that the pattern of APP staining in SIDS cases – both the amount and distribution of the staining – was very similar to those in children who had died from asphyxia.”

Professor Byard says that in one case, the presence of APP staining in a baby who had died of SIDS led to the identification of a significant sleep breathing problem, or apnoea, in the deceased baby’s sibling.

“This raised the possibility of an inherited sleep apnoea problem, and this knowledge could be enough to help save a child’s life,” Professor Byard says.

“Because of the remarkable similarity in SIDS and asphyxia cases, the question is now: is there an asphyxia-based mechanism of death in SIDS? We don’t know the answer to that yet, but it looks very promising.”

This study was conducted at the University of Adelaide by visiting postdoctoral researcher Dr Lisbeth Jensen from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, and was funded by SIDS and Kids South Australia. The results have been published in the journal Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology.

“This work also fits in very well with collaborative research that is currently being undertaken between the University of Adelaide and Harvard University, on chemical changes in parts of the brain that control breathing,” Professor Byard says.

Link to Original Article:

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