Menu

Safe Sleep Q&As for Participating Hospitals

Why is OHA promoting the “Safe Sleep is Good4Baby” initiative?
What is Ohio’s Infant Mortality Rate?
What are the main causes of infant mortality?
How can hospitals address infant mortality?
How can I find out more about infant mortality, safe sleep and OHA's involvement?

Why is OHA promoting the “Safe Sleep is Good4Baby” initiative?

To help align and coordinate Ohio hospitals’ support of safe sleep practices, OHA’s Safe Sleep is Good4Baby campaign is designed to position hospitals’ health care workers and clinical experts as leaders and advocates of the AAP and ODH recommendations for safe infant sleep. With their interactions with new parents and infant caregivers, hospitals’ staff can provide a uniform message and guidance about safe sleep environments and provide the necessary support to reverse this trend.

What is Ohio’s Infant Mortality Rate?

Ohio has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation, ranked 47th in 2010 and in 2012, had an infant mortality rate of 7.6. Infant mortality is defined as the death of a baby before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of babies who died in the first year of life, per 1,000 live births. This rate is considered an important indicator of the overall health of a society.
  • Most infant deaths occur when babies are born too small and too early (preterm births are those before 37 weeks gestation), born with a serious birth defect, victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), affected by maternal complications of pregnancy, or victims of injuries (e.g., suffocation). These top five leading causes of infant mortality together accounted for 63 percent of all infant deaths in Ohio in 2011. Some risk factors, such as smoking, may lead to more than one of the conditions in the list above. It is estimated that 23-34 percent of SIDS and 5-7 percent of preterm-related deaths are attributable to prenatal smoking in the nation.
  • There are also many non-medical contributors to the death of infants, including poverty, lack of education, under-resourced neighborhoods, poor nutrition and race. Ohio hospitals are ideal partners to help address the state’s infant mortality rate and engage patients and the community with effective clinical and professional interventions.
  • Click here for more information about infant mortality by county, race and age. 

What are the main causes of infant mortality?

Many factors influence infant mortality, but in Ohio each year more than 150 incidents are sleep-related (including SIDS, accidental suffocation, positional asphyxia, overlay and undetermined causes). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Ohio Department of Health recommend that all infants sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib – every time they are placed to sleep – to avoid these unfortunate tragedies. Ohio’s hospitals have a unique opportunity to reach the parents of nearly 140,000 newborns every year with educational messages about the importance of providing a safe sleeping environment.

How can hospitals address infant mortality?

  • Ohio hospitals are ideal partners to help address the state’s infant mortality rate and engage patients and the community with effective clinical and professional interventions and education.
  • As participants of OHA’s initiative, hospitals will receive access to all of the tools and resources needed to successfully implement the safe sleep program, including at least a two-month supply of take-home kits for patients (at no cost). Also, participating hospitals will focus on three key areas: Modeling Safe Sleep Practices; Counseling New Parents and Families; and Advocating and Educating in the Community.

How can I find out more?

 

© 2017 The Ohio Hospital Association. All Rights Reserved.