Bronson Hospitals Receive National Safe Sleep Certification
Every year in the U.S., there are approximately 3,500 infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation, strangulation, or undetermined causes during sleep. Sleep-related infant death is a leading cause of death among infants less than one year in Michigan. The sleep-related infant death rate per 1,000 live births in Calhoun County is 1.7 deaths, and in Kalamazoo County it’s 1.6 deaths. As the region’s leading provider of women’s and children’s healthcare services, Bronson is concerned about these statistics and dedicated to doing all it can to help reduce the incidence of preventable infant deaths in the region.
Recently, Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Battle Creek achieved certification from the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program. The program recognizes hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant sleep-related deaths by promoting best safe sleep practices and educating on infant sleep safety. By becoming certified, a hospital is demonstrating that it is committed to being a community leader and is proactively eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible.
According to Robin Schroeder, RN, MSN, system director, women’s & children’s services for Bronson, “Each year, more than 4,600 babies are born at the Bronson BirthPlaces in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Our staff takes special care of each and every infant and works diligently to teach new parents the skills they need to bring their baby home into a safe family environment. This certification helps ensure we are learning from other hospitals around the country and continue to provide care and family-centered education at the highest level possible.”
To qualify for the certification, Bronson hospitals have implemented the following practices:
- Develop and maintain a safe sleep policy
- Provide staff working on the units serving infants and children under the age of one year with training on infant safe sleep
- Provide infant safe sleep training at prenatal classes and education to the parents of infants prior to discharge
- Make use of wearable blankets in the Well-Baby Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as applicable.
- Conduct audits and report progress.
Additionally, Bronson Methodist Hospital which includes Bronson Children’s Hospital as well as the BirthPlace, achieved gold certification for not only developing and maintaining a safe sleep policy, but, providing safe sleep education to parents and conducting outreach activities related to infant safe sleep. Bronson Methodist Hospital also provides Pack ‘n Play® portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.
This program is well-aligned with Cradle Kalamazoo and other initiatives throughout the region that are working to reduce infant mortality through the promotion of infant sleep safety.
Safe sleep practices that families should practice in the home follow the ABCs for Alone, on their Back and in a Crib:
- Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet.
- Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib.
- The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so there are no spaces between the mattress and the crib frame.
- The mattress shape should stay firm even when covered with a tightly fitted sheet or mattress cover.
- Keep cribs empty of bumpers, pads, toys, and blankets.
Bronson’s medical staff includes an extensive selection of obstetric, gynecologic and pediatric healthcare providers who oversee and monitor newborn care. Bronson also offers the region’s only maternal-fetal medicine program, and as part of the region’s only children’s hospital has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, treating critically ill babies from throughout the region. Family centered education programs offer classes, support groups and tours to help expectant moms and dads boost their skills and confidence as they get ready to welcome their new baby.
For information about safe sleep classes visit bronsonhealth.com/classes. To find a provider for you or your child, visit bronsonhealth.com/find-a-doctor