By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
There are many concerns, fears, and unknowns when becoming a parent, be it for the first time or fifth. Several things that doctors and professionals recommend to keep our children safe and secure have changed since our parents had us. What was once considered safe and in our kids’ best interest may not necessarily be the case since more research and studies have been conducted.
The Allegheny Highlands Parents as Teachers (PAT) has partnered up with Our Babies: Safe and Sound to spread the word the entire month of September. PAT is standing in solidarity with several organizations throughout West Virginia to remind parents and caregivers to protect babies from accidental suffocation and other sleep related fatalities. Our Babies: Safe and Sound along with the Governor’s Office has designated September as infant safe sleep month.
Every ten days an infant in West Virginia dies as a result of unsafe sleep. These can be prevented through education and guidance. In honor of this month’s observance, the PAT has placed throughout the county a safe sleep display which shows a baby doll in a safe sleep environment. This example is a pack-n-play without any stuffed animals, pillows, or blankets. The only thing that should be in your baby’s crib or sleep apparatus is the baby itself. PAT is setting this display up in various locations to spread awareness for the movement and to educate the public. Also stationed near the pack-n-play display you will find a poster full of information regarding steps to take to help ensure safe sleep for your loved ones.
Angie Davis, program director, states “Our program gives away a book called “Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug” to all mothers of infants. This book was written by parents who lost their infant son as he lay sleeping on his father’s chest”. Davis elaborated, “This seems like a perfect picture of father and son on Facebook, but it is not safe at all for babies to sleep. Prevent the heartbreaking stories and put your baby in a safe place to sleep”, Davis advised.
There are many free resources available to the general public, families, parents, professionals, and caregivers of infants by visiting www.safesoundbabies.com. You can also reach out to Angie Davis or any one of the other Allegheny Highlands Parents as Teachers staff for more information or guidance.