Preventing Infant Deaths
In the last 18 months, the UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Emergency Department has seen a disturbing trend in Siouxland. The number of babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental suffocation are on the rise. Many of the babies who passed away due to accidental suffocation were not placed in cribs. They were sleeping on couches, chairs, in adult beds or with adults.
Children's Miracle Network and St. Luike's Emergency Department created the Pediatric Injury Prevention Program 3 years ago to reduce the number of preventable injuries such as head injuries from bike crashes, near-drownings and sledding accidents. This program is currently being expanded to include other preventative measures, including safe sleep practices, education and materials. St. Luke's is working with the Siouxland District Health Department and Woodbury County Sheriff's Department to promote safe sleep practices. This summer, we decided to take our Pediatric Injury Prevention Program a step further and provide Safe Sleep Kits free of charge. No family should have to suffer the loss of a baby because they cannot afford safe sleep practices or aren't aware of them.
Each Safe Sleep Kit costs $88, and we are currently giving out, on average, one kit a day. The Safe Sleep Kits are designed to provide families with items that will help reduce the risk of unsafe sleeping deaths. They will equip parents and caregivers with everything they need to practice infant safe sleep including a Cribetter, a Halo sleep sack, safe sleep instruction materials, a magnet with the ABC's of safe sleep, a Soothie pacifier and a safe sleep DVD. The kits come in both English and Spanish languages.
Many families do not have the funds to create a safe sleep environment for their baby. Other do not know the important of these safe sleep steps. We need your help to raise $1,760 whilch will fund 20 new safe sleep kits for some of our new mothers and emergency department visitors. A small investment can help save the life of a Siouxland child.