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CHI Health Schuyler Achieves Safe Sleep Champion Status

Schuyler Press Release

CHI Health Schuyler is pleased to announce it has earned “Safe Sleep Champion” designation from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as part of the state organizations initiative to reduce infant deaths in Nebraska. There are currently 28 Safe Sleep Champions in the state, and 18 other hospitals have pledged and are working through the process to become a safe sleep hospital.

DHHS worked with the Nebraska Hospital Association, the Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative to launch the Nebraska Safe Sleep Hospital Campaign. Providing consistent training and education on safe sleep for all hospital personnel caring for children under a year old ensures the same safe sleep message is shared with parents of more than 26,000 babies born in Nebraska every year.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. And in Nebraska, infant deaths are slowly on the rise according to the Nebraska DHHS. In 2015, 26 babies were listed as Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDS), up from 22 SUID in 2012. Almost all of these are preventable.

The Safe Sleep Campaign starts within the hospital setting, encouraging all Nebraska birthing hospitals to become a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion. To be considered a Safe Sleep Champion, the hospital signs a pledge, creates or updates a Safe Sleep policy, provides yearly education to hospital personnel, models safe sleep recommendations, and educates parents with evidence-based safe sleep materials.

“Providing training and safe sleep awareness for our hospital personnel caring for children under a year old reinforces best practices for safe sleep and helps us achieve the highest quality of care for our patients,” said Connie Peters, President of CHI Health Schuyler. “It’s important that we’re giving new parents the tools and education needed to raise a happy, healthy baby.”

“A key resource for new parents are our labor and delivery nurses,” said Marissa Stoklasa, RN, Supervisor of Nursing at CHI Health Schuyler. “Nurses have the opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about risk reduction of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Teaching every family about what the safe sleep recommendations and demonstrating those behaviors here at the hospital ensure that new parents and babies get off to the best start.”

The ABC’s of Safe Sleep:

A – Your baby should always sleep alone.

B – Your baby should always sleep on his or her back.

C -  Your baby should always sleep in a safe crib.

Learn more about safe sleep and how to create a safe sleep environment.