McLeod Safe Kids: Keeping Your Children Safe While Sleeping


"There, do you hear that? That is your baby’s heart beat!" From the moment we hear those words everything changes. The immediate love we feel for our children makes us do anything to protect them. So why, when we are willing to spend thousands of dollars to keep them safe, do we tend to overlook some of the simplest ways of preventing injuries?

Accidental deaths associated with unsafe sleep practices continue to be one of the highest causes of death in the zero to one year age group. These deaths can be prevented by following some simple guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
  • Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time, including naps and at night.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat head).

McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal also offers a Safe Sleep class for new parents. Held once a month, this class educates families on ways to create a safe sleep environment for their child. The class is free of charge and will be held on the following dates: January 28, February 25, March 24, April 14, May 26, June 23, July 28, August 25, September 22, October 27, November 10, and December 8, 2016. To register for an upcoming class, please contact McLeod Reservations and Scheduling at (843) 777-2005 or 1-800-667-2005. Registration and paperwork must be completed at least one week prior to the class. Space is limited, so call today.

For more information on preventing childhood injury, please call McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021. You can also visit or find the group on Facebook.

McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.