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October 2021: Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

WHEREAS, more than 140 infants in Michigan die every year because of sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment; and,


WHEREAS, infants can suffocate when sleeping in an adult bed or on other dangerous sleep surfaces, such as couches, armchairs or inclined sleepers, and when sleeping with parents, siblings, caregivers or pets; and,


WHEREAS, deaths due to unsafe sleep environments are overwhelmingly preventable, and Michigan's goal is to have zero deaths resulting from sleeping in an unsafe environment; and,


WHEREAS, infants sleep safest when sleeping alone and on their back in a crib, bassinet or portable play yard with a firm mattress and a tightly fitted sheet containing no other items such as toys, pillows, or blankets, as well as when they are dressed appropriately to prevent overheating; and,


WHEREAS, infants should sleep in the parent/caregiver's room close to the parent/caregiver's bed on a separate sleep surface; and,


WHEREAS, breastfeeding is encouraged because it is associated with lower instances of sleep-related infant deaths; and,


WHEREAS, smoke-free homes are best for infants, and help is available to quit; and,


WHEREAS, parents, grandparents, relatives, childcare providers, and others infant caregivers are urged to learn more about how to provide the safest sleep environments; and,


WHEREAS, significant health disparities exist in sleep-related infant deaths, with Black infants dying at more than three times the rate of white infants due to inequities rooted in systematic racism; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, working collaboratively with families, communities, and institutional partners, raises awareness of the important steps that parents, caregivers, childcare providers, and health professionals can take to reduce sleep-related infant deaths and disparities;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2021 as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan.