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Families urged to provide a safe sleep space for baby during holiday travel

 For Immediate Release: December 21, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – With the holidays around the corner, it’s a busy time of year often spent traveling away from home for visits.  For families with babies, travel can be especially hectic and it can be hard to remember all of the necessities.  One item to put at the top of your list is a safe space for baby to sleep when you’re away from home.

“As a parent, it is difficult to imagine the loss of a child, especially around the holidays” First Lady Sue Snyder said. “More infants can be saved by making caregivers aware of the proper sleeping environment for babies. It’s crucial to keep this in mind not just when you’re on the road during the holidays but throughout the year.”

Nearly 150 babies died in Michigan last year because they were placed to sleep in an unsafe sleep environment..  To protect babies this holiday season, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is reminding parents and caregivers to make sure their baby, or the baby in their care, always has a safe space to sleep, such as in a safety approved crib, bassinet or pack and play, for nap times and night time.

Tragically, every two to 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.

“Sleep related infant deaths are 100 percent preventable, which is why it’s so important for families and caregivers to follow the guidelines for safe sleep at home and while traveling,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the MDHHS. “Don’t lose sight of the importance of safe sleep during this busy holiday season.

Michigan families are encouraged to follow these tips for every sleep - nap and night time:

  • Baby should sleep alone, on the back, in a crib, bassinet or pack and play.
  • When traveling, plan ahead and take a pack and play with you.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • Keep baby’s sleep space clutter free – no pillows, blankets or toys.
  • Avoid covering baby’s head or overheating.  Instead of a blanket, consider using a sleep sack, wearable blanket or footed sleeper to keep baby warm.

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, visit

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