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The Family Birthing Center of UPMC Northwest Designated a ‘Safe Sleep Leader’

 SENECA, Pa., April 1, 2015The Family Birthing Center of UPMC Northwest has met the criteria and received recognition and accreditation as a National Certified Silver Safe Sleep Leader from Cribs for Kids®, an organization that  originally started in Pittsburgh. The infant-based Safe Sleep Program was established in 2008 by Pennsylvania Cribs for Kids to help reduce the risk of injury and death of infants due to unsafe sleeping environments. 
Sudden Infant death (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant death between 1 month and 1 year of age, with most deaths between 2 to 4 months of age. In 90 percent of SIDS cases the infants are found in unsafe sleep environments. 
Risk Factors for SIDS:
• Sleeping on soft bedding:  Increases the risk by five times
• Sleeping on the stomach: Increases risk by 2.4 times
• Sleeping on the stomach on soft bedding: Increases risk by 21 times
“Birthing Centers are mandated to provide new parents with safe sleep education.  UPMC Northwest has taken this a step further and we are modeling a safe sleep environment in the hospital,” said Cheri Siverling, M.S.N., R.N.C.-O.B., unit director, Family Birthing Center of UPMC Northwest. “This example is then carried home with the parents,” she added.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offer these five key safe-sleeping points:
• Place baby on their back to sleep – It is the safest way for infants to sleep.
• Babies should have a firm sleep surface of their own – a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a tight-fitting bottom sheet.  Room sharing  NOT bed sharing!
• Nothing but the baby should be in the crib–keep all unnecessary items out of the baby’s sleep area that are a suffocation hazard, including blankets, bumper pads and stuffed animals.  Avoid overheating the baby.
• NO Smoking around the baby–breathing  second hand smoke puts babies at a  2.5 times higher risk of SIDS. 
• Share information about safe sleep with all of your family members.

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