Baptist Health Giving Sleep Sacks To All Newborns To Prevent SIDS

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — New parents have a lot to worry about when they bring their new baby home and they're doing it all on very little sleep. That’s why it’s important to make sure your newborn is safe, especially when it’s sleeping, which infants do - a lot.

Just remember the ABC's of safe sleep: Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.

Now babies born at Baptist Health - Fort Smith can fall asleep safe and sound, thanks to a new tool given to every family after birth.

Baby Blair, a little girl whose family is from Muldrow, Oklahoma, was born on March 5, 2019, and was getting all wrapped up in her new sleep sack.

"She was able to stay in one from the day that she was born at night. And it’s to use in the crib instead of a blanket," said Margaret Blackwell, Blair's mom.

The device replaces a traditional blanket to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

"There are still thousands of babies that die every year from sleep-related deaths. And SIDS is still one of the leading causes of death for babies between one month and one year," said registered nurse Kristin Johnson.

Johnson is the Nurse Manager of the Women's & Children's Division at Baptist Health - Fort Smith.

The CDC says 1,500 babies died from SIDS in 2016 and an unsafe sleep space contributes to that statistic.

"The main risk factors are stomach sleeping, bed sharing and loose, fluffy blankets or bedding," said Johnson.

That’s why Baptist Health - Fort Smith is sending a sleep sack home with every baby born at the hospital.

"Based on our delivery numbers, we are estimating that we’ll be handing out approximately a thousand sleep sacks this year," said Johnson.

It's something new mom Margaret Blackwell is thankful for.

"I had heard of them but I did not that Baptist Health provided them. I was very excited to see that they did," said Blackwell.

Pink for girls, blue for boys, embroidered with the tagline: "Born Amazing at Baptist Health."

The program started Monday (March 4) and is available at all Baptist Health hospitals where babies are delivered.

More information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "Safe to Sleep" campaign can be found here.

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