UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Launches Safe Infant Sleep Environment Campaign
Oakland, CA (December 27, 2016) – UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is partnering with Alameda County Children and Family Services, Alameda County Department of Public Health as well as Highland Hospital and the Childhood Injury Prevention Network-Bay Area to promote a campaign educating parents about safe sleeping environments for their infants.
Over the past five years, 33 infants between the ages of 0-12 months died of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death in Alameda County. An unsafe sleep environment was identified in Seventy-two percent of those deaths. Some of the risk factors include bed-sharing, front or side sleeping, and loose bedding or soft objects in the infant's sleep area that can obstruct an infant's nose or mouth.
The Safe Sleep Environment campaign highlights recommendations to prevent such deaths. The hospital has been educating parents on the importance of safe sleep practices for many years, but it is joining with other local and national groups to increase awareness about the importance of safe sleep environments. The campaign is being featured on county buses and shelters as well as on BART.
The campaign includes recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated safe sleep guidelines which suggest putting an infant on its back to sleep for every sleep up to one year of age; placing infants on a firm sleep surface (i.e., mattress in a safety-approved crib) covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects; room-sharing without bed-sharing; avoiding overheating and head-covering in infants; and offering a pacifier and naptime and bedtime.
In addition, the AAP also has recommendations for breastfeeding mothers – the organization recognizes a mother may fall asleep in the adult bed when breastfeeding. This increases the importance of not having loose objects, blankets or pillows in the nursing area, and suggests that a mother should return the infant to the crib as soon as she awakes. The mother should be vigilant not to fall asleep due to the increased risk and infants should not be fed in an arm chair or sofa. The new AAP recommendations also recommend that infants remain in the parent’s room in a separate bed designed for an infant until 1 year of age or minimally until 6 months of age.
“No one should underestimate the importance of safe sleep practices, especially with newborns and infants under 1 year of age,” says Bonnie Lovette, RN MS PNP, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s injury prevention coordinator. “We are hopeful that our safe sleep education efforts will be augmented through our partnership with local and national organizations.”
The hospital collaborates with Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), a national non-profit dedicated to safe sleep education that has provided many of the cribs for the hospital’s injury prevention program. Lovette is a founding member of the Childhood Injury Prevention Network- Bay Area (CIPN-BA), a group of injury prevention experts from Alameda and Contra Costa County including several pediatricians, who have been working with Bay Area hospitals to assist them in developing safe sleep policies similar to those of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Lovette is also member of the national strategic plan working group for the National Action Partnership To Promote Safe Sleep (NAPPSS) and works with Advocates for Health Economics and Development (AHEAD) and the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health (CCCSH) on the California Injury Prevention Strategic Plan for safe sleep recommendations.
“We are pleased to work with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, which is one of the leading hospitals in the nation in ensuring safe sleep practices,” says Jack Walsh, president of KBS. “Education of parents remains paramount. UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland works closely with our organization to provide educational materials to new parents, and in many cases, this proactive education is the difference between life and death."
About UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (formerly Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland) is a premier, not-for-profit medical center for children in Northern California, and is the only hospital in the East Bay 100% devoted to pediatrics. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco on January 1, 2014. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a national leader in many pediatric specialties including cardiology, hematology/oncology, neonatology, neurosurgery, endocrinology, urology, orthopedics, and sports medicine. The hospital is one of only five ACS Pediatric Level I Trauma Centers in the state, and has one of largest pediatric intensive care units in Northern California. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is also a leading teaching hospital with an outstanding pediatric residency program and a number of unique pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs.
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s research arm, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), is internationally known for its basic and clinical research. CHORI is at the forefront of translating research into interventions for treating and preventing human diseases.
Contact: Melinda Krigel
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
510-428-3069, 510-388-5927 (cell)