Infant mortality rates due to accidental suffocation in bed are increasing at an alarming rate in Montana and nationwide. Every year in the U.S., there are approximately 3,500 SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and SUID (sudden unexpected infant deaths) due to accidental suffocation, strangulation or undetermined causes during sleep.
About 90 percent of all of these sleep-related deaths are preventable with proper education of parents and certain safety protocols. Community Medical Center is leading the charge in Montana.
Community is one of only 100 hospitals in the U.S. — and the first in Montana — to have obtained Gold Level Safe Sleep Certification from Cribs for Kids, a national Safe Sleep Hospital certification program, and Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation. One of our current initiatives, in partnership with Cribs for Kids, is to provide Graco Pack ‘n Play portable cribs at no cost to families who cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.
We have implemented new infant safe sleep protocols including:
- using swaddle sleep sacks rather than having babies swaddled in blankets;
- ensuring all hats fit properly so they do not cover the baby’s face;
- removing all stuffed animals, blankets and bumpers from the crib;
- educating all families on safe sleep practices.