First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
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Is Your Grandchild Sleeping Safely?

Is Your Grandchild Sleeping Safely?

Caring for grandkids is a common role for many grandparents. Whether it is overnight, over a weekend or for an extended period, you will want to make sure the babies are happy and healthy, and that they sleep safely and peacefully.

Many of us have learned how to care for babies from older generations. There are many tips that have been passed down from generation to generation on how to care for children, but it can be difficult to determine if these teachings are outdated or unsafe.

When caring for an infant, learning about safe sleep is very important. Sleep-related deaths are one of the primary causes of infant deaths, and they are largely preventable.

So, before you put your little one to bed, please review these helpful and potentially life-saving tips.

Follow the ABCDs of safe sleep — the easiest way to ensure your grandbaby is safe and sound.

A - Alone

Your grandbaby should sleep alone — not in a bed or on a couch with you, their parents or their siblings. Compared with sleeping in a crib, the overall death rate is more than 40 times higher for babies who sleep with an adult. A great compromise is keeping a portable crib next to your bed — this keeps your grandbaby safe and encourages bonding.

Remember: the same room is okay, but the same bed is not!

B - Back

This one is easy! Just be sure to always place your grandbaby on their back when you put them down for bed. By placing your grandbaby on his or her stomach to sleep, you are placing that baby at increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Tummy time is great, but only when it is play time!

C - Crib

Be sure your baby goes to sleep in an empty crib — no toys, blankets, pillows or bumpers. These items pose a major risk for choking or suffocation, especially for babies age 1 and younger, and can increase the risk of SIDS up to five times. And there is no need to use expensive positioning devices or sleep aids! Research has shown that all your grandbaby needs is a firm sleeping surface. Also, be sure to use a crib or bassinet that was manufactured after June 28, 2011, or that is compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s regulations.

Another way to check if the crib is safe is to make sure that there are no gaps between the sides of the crib and the mattress. You can check this by measuring with two fingers between the two.

Next, never place a crib near any kind of cords. This even includes windows with blinds, curtain cords and baby monitor cords.

Lastly, always make sure the crib has been assembled and installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s directions.

D - Don't Smoke

Even if you personally do not smoke, others who do that are around your baby should always smoke outside and change their clothes before being around your grandbaby.

That’s right – smoking outside is not enough!

Babies who are exposed to second-hand smoke become more susceptible to developing asthma or having other respiratory problems and are more likely to die from SIDS.

If you smoke, they smoke. Try to quit for the safety of your grandbaby, and encourage others to do so as well!

By following the ABCDs of safe sleeping, you can ensure your grandbaby will wake up, ready for a bright future.

Is it really that easy? Yes, it is! Help us spread the word by sharing the ABCDs of safe sleep with your family and friends! Just a little awareness can go a long way.

  • Sleep-related deaths are largely preventable.
  • In 2017 and 2018, there were nearly 30 sleep-related deaths in Cuyahoga County.
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) can sometimes be called "crib death" because it is associated with when the baby is sleeping. But that name is misleading; cribs themselves don't cause SIDS, the baby's sleep environment can cause SIDS.

Infants spend more than half their day asleep, which is why this information is crucial to their health. With infants, prevention is key for their care. We’re glad you are choosing to invest in your grandchild’s safety!

Posted Saturday, April 20, 2019

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