September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month. The death of a child before his or her first birthday is classified as infant mortality.
There were 61 infants who died in 2017 in Guilford County. Guilford County is one of the leading counties in the state for high infant mortality rates. The state rate was 7.1 and the Guilford County rate was 9.8 per 1,000 births.
The Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality is partnering with the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services: Division of Public Health and the Guilford County Child Fatality Prevention Team to promote safe sleep messaging throughout the community.
Parents and caregivers can promote safe sleep by:
- Always placing baby on their back to sleep, for naps and at night.
- Using a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
- Dressing baby in no more than one layer of clothing more than an adult would wear to be comfortable and leave the blanket out of the crib. A one-piece sleeper or sleep sack can be used for sleep clothing. A baby who is sweating or breathing rapidly may be too warm.
- Share your room, not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else.
- Not using pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby’s sleep area.
- Keeping the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.
- Not allowing smoking or vaping around your baby.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of sleep related causes of infant death.
For information, call Jean Workman at 336-641-6775.