Leesburg Regional Medical Center joins in national safe sleep initiative

Leesburg Regional Medical Center has announced its partnership with Cribs for Kids National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative to promote infant safe sleep practices for all new parents in Lake County.

Research indicates the vast majority of infant deaths is accidental and due to babies sleeping in unsafe sleeping environments. Nearly three-fourths are attributed to bed sharing. LRMC wants to teach parents and caregivers that the safest way for a baby to sleep is alone, on his or her back, in a bare, safety-approved crib. In addition to education tools, in some areas qualifying families will receive Pack ‘n Play portable cribs if they cannot, otherwise, afford safe sleeping environments for their infants.

“Over 3,500 infants die each year due to sleep-related deaths,” said Stacy Lucas-Austin from the Maternal Child Health Department at LRMC. “Educating new parents is a critical tool in preventing such tragedies. Our partnership with Cribs for Kids exemplifies the dedication our staff has to even the newest members of this community.”

Cribs for Kids, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a national infant safe-sleep education program that helps to reduce the risk of injury or death of infants due to accidental suffocation, asphyxia, or undetermined causes in unsafe sleeping environments. Since 1998, Cribs for Kids has been making an impact on reducing the rate of infant sleep-related deaths by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for their babies and by providing portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.

“Safe sleep practices start in the hospital, so ensuring nurses are modeling safe sleep guidelines for parents has been a focus,” said Lucas-Austin. “Our hope is to help each new family establish a strong foundation of safe sleep guidelines they will in turn practice when at home. We are also making every effort to education members of our community to help reduce infant sleep-related deaths.”