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BIRMINGHAM – Children’s of Alabama was recently recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Certified Safe Sleep Champion,” for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.
The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, the only national infant safe sleep organization. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Cribs for Kids® is dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation and strangulation. As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Children’s of Alabama is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for healthcare team members, and family caregivers.
“Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®. “We know that modeling safe infant sleep in the hospital and providing education to families has a significant effect on infant mortality. Cribs for Kids® Hospital Certification Program is designed to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”
Sleep-related deaths have historically been one of the top three leading contributors of death to infants in Alabama, a state with one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. “Every year in Alabama, more than 100 babies die before their first birthday because of sleep-related death,” said Erinn Schmit, M.D., pediatric hospital medicine physician and chair, Safe Sleep Task Force at Children’s of Alabama. “We are committed to educating parents about the best practices for infant safe sleep. Always place your baby alone, on his or her back, in a crib.”
Children’s of Alabama is the second hospital in Alabama to earn a designation through the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program, and Children’s is the state’s only gold level designee, the highest level of recognition.
The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids in Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.
According to Judith A. Bannon, Executive Director and Founder for Cribs for Kids®, “The certification program launched in 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA, home of the Cribs for Kids® national headquarters. Hundreds of hospitals across the US are certified. We welcome Children’s of Alabama to this expanding group of committed hospitals. This will have a profound effect on the saving babies’ lives.”
For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit https://cribsforkids.org/hospitalcertification/.