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October 2023: Infant Safe Sleep Month

WHEREAS, more than 140 Michigan babies die every year due to sleep-related causes; sleep related infant deaths are those in which the sleep environment likely contributed; and,

WHEREAS, babies can suffocate when sleeping in an adult bed or on other dangerous sleep surfaces such as couches and armchairs; or with parents, siblings, caregivers, or pets; or with soft objects, such as pillows, blankets and stuffed toys; and,

WHEREAS, following the safe sleep steps can help prevent sleep-related infant deaths and our goal in Michigan is zero preventable deaths; and,

WHEREAS, babies sleep safest when following the safe sleep steps of sleeping alone on their back in a crib, bassinet or portable play yard with a firm, flat mattress and a tightly fitted sheet and no other items in the sleep space, and when dressed appropriately to prevent overheating; and,

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

WHEREAS, breastfeeding/feeding human milk is encouraged because it is associated with lower instances of sleep-related infant death; and,

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

WHEREAS, parents, grandparents, relatives, child care providers, and anyone caring for a baby are urged to learn more about the safe sleep steps and how to keep babies safe every time they sleep; and,

WHEREAS, significant health disparities exist in sleep-related infant deaths with Black babies dying at 3.8 times the rate of white babies; and American Indian babies dying at 2.5 times the rate of white babies; these disparities are a result of inequities rooted in systemic racism; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, working collaboratively with families, communities and institutional partners, raises awareness and promotes system changes that result in Michigan babies being able to sleep safely;

NOW, THEREFORE I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim October 2023 as Infant Safe Sleep Month in Michigan.