A Kissimmee organization is trying to save babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, one crib at a time.
- Osceola Safe Sleep campaign raises awareness about SIDS
- Advocates ABCs of safe baby sleeping: Alone, on their Back, in a Crib
To the Fuentes family, their 11-month-old baby means the world. As foster parents, they’ve taken care of eight children in the past year. This family enjoys having babies in the house. In fact, their whole home is baby proof.
This is why safety is a priority for them, even when sleeping. “If they're suffocating on their side, they don't have the strength sometimes to turn themselves over,” German Fuentes said. “So it's very important to make sure that when they go to sleep, they're in a safe environment.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center launched their Osceola Safe Sleep campaign this month, hoping to combat SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The Mayo Clinic lists a number of sleep environment factors that tend to increase the risk of SIDS, including sleeping on the stomach or side, sleeping on a soft surface -- and sleeping with parents.
“Unfortunately unsafe sleep practices are one of our top deaths in Orange and Osceola County," said Joy Chuba, the executive director for Children’s Advocacy Center in Osceola. "So circuitwide we are seeing kids die when really there is an element we could modify.”
One way to remember safe sleeping for babies, newborns to one year old is by remembering your ABCs: Alone, on their Back and in a Crib.
“We see that a lot of the children who are in [bed-sharing] situations end up being diseased. So that is a risk factor that we see,” Chuba explained. “So although we can't tell you the exact science behind that, we know that is a risk factor, so we want to prevent that.”
Experts say parents shouldn't use bumper pads soft blankets or leave any soft toys in the crib for sleeping.
For more tips from the experts on how to put your baby to sleep, go to the Osceola Safe Sleep campaign's website.