LOGAN, W.Va. — Are you expecting a baby? Do you have your crib coordinated with baby-themed baby sheets, blankets and bumper pads? Do you have that handmade quilt nicely folded and the pillow plumped, ready for use? Are those cuddly, soft stuffed animals placed to where the new baby can enjoy them? If so, you may have created a death trap for your new infant. The Our Babies: Safe and Sound program says there are 38 healthy babies in West Virginia that die from unsafe sleep practices.
First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin visited Logan Regional Medical Center (LRMC) to participate in their Infant Safe Sleep Month awareness event held Monday, September 12. LRMC is the latest hospital in the state to begin the Our Babies: Safe and Sound “Say YES to Safe Sleep” campaign. Say Yes to Safe Sleep for Babies program aims to educate new parents on ways to keep their babies safe while sleeping in order to reduce unintended injury or death primarily from accidental suffocation and strangulation. The program follows the ABC’s of infant safe sleep: A) Babies should always sleep alone but near you in the same room but not in the same bed; B) Babies should always sleep on his or her back, and C) babies should always sleep in a safe crib or bassinette that is clutter free… no bumper pads, pillows, or heavy blankets.
The Yes to Safe Sleep for Babies program will also educated parents on how to cope with frustrations resulting from frequent, constant or inconsolable baby crying which is often a trigger for incidents of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.
First Lady Tomblin was introduced by Kevin Zachary, CEO of LRMC, who told the reason he brought LRMC as a partner in the Our Babies: Safe and Sound program.
“Twenty-one years ago with my daughter… we did everything wrong…. We were new parents and we thought we were doing everything right, and we had a very close call and nearly lost her.” Zachary said. “It was from choking on a ribbon-type thing that is on a stuffed animal. That is the reason for me to get on board.”
First Lady Tomblin said began to champion the infant safe sleep after she checked the statistics in West Virginia and found that they were not good.
“To keep a child safe and healthy is so, so important,” First Lady Tomblin said. “Every child is precious to our state and to the future of our state.
“I’m especially proud to be visiting today because you are just beginning to implement the Say Yes to Safe Sleep program… the Governor and I are thankful for the wonderful work you do for the citizens of Logan County and the surrounding areas…
“I am thrilled personally to be able to spend the month of September visiting and recognizing our Safe Sleep hospitals and Safe Sleep partners to raise awareness to champion this important issue. I make it a point to visit every hospital that comes on board.
“As a mother, I know how important it is to educate mothers on how to keep their babies safe, especially in that first year.
“As you heard, one baby dies every ten days from unsafe sleep. Not only that, unsafe sleep in the number one killer of babies in West Virginia. That is very, very unacceptable. The good news is that these statistics are preventable.
“Because this is so important to the Governor, he proclaimed each September as Infant Safe Sleep Month.”
For more on the Our Babies: Safe and Sound program, visit www.safesoundbabies.com