Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS) has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics Nevada Chapter and University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) to spread awareness about ‘safe sleep’ practices for newborns and infants, to reduce the number of sudden and unexpected deaths that occur each year.
Every year, around 3,500 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly while they're sleeping. Most of these tragic deaths are due to Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation.
"It's heartbreaking to think that so many infant deaths could have been prevented," said Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy II. "We must come together as a community to get the message out about how simple it can be to create a safe sleep environment for our babies."
The ‘Safe Sleep’ campaign, which includes educational videos, the distribution of 10,000 baby onesies to new parents and families, and a website dedicated to providing resources for parents in English and Spanish language, will provide information on how to create an environment that is safe for babies while they are sleeping.
"Our hope is that this campaign will help parents make informed decisions about how and where their babies sleep," said Clark County Department of Family Services Director Jill Marano. "By providing accurate information about safe sleep practices, we can help ensure that more children have the chance to grow and thrive."
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that:
- Babies be placed on their backs to sleep in a crib using a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet without any soft objects or loose bedding.
- The crib or bassinet can be in the parents’ room, close to parent’s bed for at least six months and preferably up to one year old.
- This arrangement allows parents to easily access their baby during nighttime feedings without having to share a bed with them.
- Parents should also make sure that their baby’s sleeping environment is free from any potential danger.
- This means keeping soft items like pillows and blankets out of reach and making sure there are no gaps between headboards or mattresses where a baby could become trapped.
- Additionally, babies should never be left alone on couches, car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers or slings as this can increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation.
“We believe that no parent should have to experience the tragedy of losing a child due to unsafe sleep practices,” said American Academy of Pediatrics NV Chapter Executive Director Leann McAllister. “This is why we are so proud of our partnership with Clark County and its commitment towards promoting healthy habits when it comes to newborns' sleep."
Parents looking for more information about creating a safe sleep space for their baby can visit www.clarkcountynv.gov/safesleep. Information is available in English and Spanish. Parents can also contact their local pediatrician's office directly.
PSA videos are available in English and Spanish at the Clark County’s YouTube page:
- YouTube English: https://youtu.be/V9vClZhi_sM
- YouTube Spanish: https://youtu.be/pp8qcCJsiE8
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.