Families Urged to Provide Safe Sleep Space for Infants During Holidays

Contact: Jennifer Smith 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: December 19, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – During the holidays, residents often travel away from home to gather with family and friends. For families with infants, holiday travel can be particularly hectic with many details and packing essentials to remember. That’s why First of Lady of Michigan Sue Snyder and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) are reminding families of the importance of safe sleep environments for infants as they prepare for holiday travel.

“With the holiday travel and time spent with family, it’s important that parents, grandparents, caregivers, and others remember to plan a safe place for baby to sleep,” said First Lady Snyder, a safe sleep advocate. “Making a safe sleep environment a priority whether at home or on the road will help ensure no families have to experience devastating grief or loss this holiday season or throughout the year.” 

MDCH Director Nick Lyon added that “families can help keep their babies safe and healthy by making sure they are always placed on their back in their own crib to ensure safe sleep and a happy holiday.”

Last year, nearly 150 babies died in Michigan because they were placed to sleep in places that were unsafe. To protect babies this holiday season, MDCH urges parents and caregivers to make sure their baby or the baby in their care has a safe place to sleep, for nap time and night time, at home and as you travel.

Michigan families are encouraged to follow these safe sleep tips:

  • The safest place for baby to sleep is alone, in a crib, bassinet or pack-n-play.
  • When traveling, take a pack-n-play with you to make sure that you always have a safe sleep space for baby.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • “Bare is best”. There should be nothing in baby’s sleep space – no pillows, blankets or toys.
  • Baby should sleep on his or her back, for every sleep time, nap time and night time.
  • Avoid covering baby’s head or overheating. Consider using a sleep sack or footed sleeper.

Tragically, every three days in Michigan, a baby dies while sleeping in an adult bed, on an armchair or couch, while sleeping with pillows or blankets, or while sleeping with adults or other children. Remind everyone who cares for your baby, including babysitters and family members, how to keep baby safe while sleeping. Don’t wake up to a tragedy this holiday season.

To learn more about how to keep your baby or the infant in your family safe this holiday season, visit www.michigan.gov/safesleep.

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