New Hanover County rolls out program to education parents about infant sleep safety

Sleeping baby (Photo: Paul Goyette / CC BY-SA 3.0)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. New Hanover Health and Human Services is rolling out a program called “Safe Sleep.”

Every year, one of the top causes of infant mortality comes from babies sleeping the wrong way.

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Holly Royals from the county’s Child Protective Services department says it’s important for parents to know that babies should sleep on their backs without any pillows or stuffed animals in their cribs at first.

If a baby sleeps on its side or stomach, or accidentally covers its face, the child can suffocate.

“Nobody intentionally wants to put a baby in an unsafe sleep situation, but certainly accidents happen,” Royals said. “If you’re tired, if you’re feeding a baby in bed, if you accidentally fall asleep, if you’re on the couch and you accidentally roll over. So if there’s things we can do to remind people of those prevention things, the A, the B, and the C, that would help keep babies safe.”

Those ABCs of Safe Sleep are:

A) Have a baby sleep along in their crib
B) Babies should sleep on the their backs
C) Their cribs should be empty of other items.