Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the unexpected and sudden death of apparently healthy babies, is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1-year-old. Most SIDS deaths are associated with sleep, which is why it's sometimes called "crib death." A baby in Michigan dies nearly every other day due to sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment – that's over 140 babies every year.*
A lack of answers is part of what makes SIDS so frightening. SIDS remains unpredictable despite years of research. Even so, the risk of SIDS can be significantly reduced. Most important: babies younger than 1-year-old should be placed on their backs to sleep — never facedown on their stomach or sides. Sleeping on the stomach or side increases the risk for SIDS.
The St. Joseph County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect ensures parents are educated about safe sleep practices through the "Welcome Home" Baby Bag program. New parents in St. Joseph County receive a "Welcome Home" Baby Bag, whether they're welcoming their first, second, or fifth baby. The reusable backpacks contain resources on safe sleep, including several books, a do and don't list for safe sleep practices, and a Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket.
With help from a recent grant from the Sturgis Area Community Foundation, 500 new "Welcome Home" Baby Bags were distributed throughout the county.
Courtney Hyche, Executive Director at the Council for the last four years, expressed the necessity of an organization like the St. Joseph County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in each community,
Whether through the 'Welcome Home' Baby Bag program, educational workshops, or the many other resources the Council provides, it is vital to the community that proper information about child safety is readily available to new parents.