Hospitals Are First in Lowcountry and Second in State to Earn Distinction

Charleston, SC - Trident Health has become the first hospital system in the Lowcountry and the second in South Carolina to earn Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification. Trident and Summerville Medical Centers are now designated as Silver Safe Sleep Leaders.

The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program awards recognition to hospitals that demonstrate a commitment to reducing infant Sleep-Related Deaths by promoting best safe sleep practices and by educating on infant sleep safety. By becoming certified, a hospital demonstrates that it is committed to being a community leader and is pro-actively eliminating as many sleep-related deaths as possible. As a Silver Safe Sleep Leader Trident Health makes use of wearable blankets in the Well-Baby Nursey and in the hospital's Level ll Nurseries as well as maintaining records of compliance.

Ob/GYN physician Melanie Smith, MD, Ph.D., said, "We not only work diligently to provide a safe passage for Lowcountry babies, we are equally committed to providing parents with information to keep their babies safe when they go home."

Dr. Smith is on the medical staff of Trident Medical Center and a key physician member of one of the Charleston area's most popular destinations for labor and delivery. Last year, she and her colleagues delivered more than 2,600 babies last year. More than 1,400 were born at Trident Medical Center and more than 1,100 were born at Summerville Medical Center. By offering a regular schedule of prenatal, childbirth, breastfeeding and other classes Trident Health Women's and Children's Services clinicians provides many educational opportunities for area families.

"The physicians, nurses, and clinicians at our hospitals are passionate about the health and wellbeing of Lowcountry babies," said Trident Health CEO Todd Gallati. "We hope that by earning the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Leaders certification we have strengthened the trust families place in our teams to provide a safe birth experience." In addition to Trident and Summerville Medical Centers, Trident Health also includes Moncks Corner Medical Center and Centre Pointe Emergency.

Each year in the U.S. there are nearly 3,500 infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation, strangulation, or undetermined causes during sleep. Since 1998, Cribs for Kids® has been making an impact on the rates of babies dying of accidental sleep-related death in unsafe sleeping environments by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of safe sleep for infants. Cribs for Kids® currently has more than 600 licensed partners throughout the United States who implement its infant safe sleep program.

Trident Health Administrative Director of Women's and Children's Services Deona Bien says earning the national certification required the commitment of hospital executives, physicians, and nurses. "We have wonderful obstetricians, neonatologists, and experienced nurses in our Well-Baby and Level ll Nurseries. One of our goals is to be the Lowcountry's hospital of choice for families. The Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Leaders certification is evidence of our commitment to provide exceptional care for families in our region."

Founder and Executive Director of Cribs for Kids® Judith Bannon said, "Trident's hard work has not gone unnoticed. They have demonstrated a commitment to community leadership for best practices and education on infant sleep through the development of a hospital policy, staff training, parent education, modeling through a wearable blanket program, and a pledge in ongoing audits."

Safe Sleep Tips:

TIP #1 - Always place your baby alone, on his or her back, in a crib for EVERY sleep time.

TIP #2 - Always use a firm, flat sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices, swings, wedges, and devices that position baby on an incline are NOT SAFE for routine sleep.

TIP #3 - Use a firm sleep surface with a firm crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. "A crib, bassinet, or portable crib/play yard that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is recommended. In addition, parents and providers should check to make sure that the product has not been recalled. Cribs with missing hardware should not be used, and the parent or provider should not attempt to fix broken components of a crib, because many deaths are associated with cribs that are broken or have missing parts (including those that have presumably been fixed).

Local organizations throughout the United States can help to provide low-cost or free cribs or play yards for families with financial constraints." (from the AAP 2011 Policy Statement-SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations)

TIP #4 - Room Share, but do not bed share.

  • CO-SLEEPING: This is when a parent and child sleep within a "sensory" distance of each other, meaning that each can tell that the other is near, by their touch, sight, or even smell. (Co-sleeping is sometimes also called sleep-sharing.) Room-sharing and bed-sharing are types of co-sleeping:
  • ROOM-SHARING: This is when parents have a crib in the room with them, a bassinet or portable crib near the bed, a separate crib attached to the bed, or a similar arrangement.
  • BED-SHARING: This is when parents share their bed with their children (sometimes called the "family bed"). This is NOT recommended as a form of safe sleep. Various U.S. medical groups warn parents NOT to place their infants to sleep in adult beds due to serious safety risks. Bed-sharing puts babies at risk of suffocation, strangulation, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies have found that bed-sharing is the most common cause of deaths in babies, especially those 3 months and younger.

TIP #5: Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after your baby is born. There should be no smoking near pregnant women or infants. Set strict rules for smoke free homes and cars. Eliminate second-hand tobacco smoke from all places in which children and other nonsmokers spend time.

TIP #6: Because there is no evidence that bumper pads or similar products that attach to crib slats or sides prevent injury in young infants, and because there IS the potential for suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation, these products are NOT RECOMMENDED.

TIP #7: Don't overheat or overdress your baby. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult (between 68-72 degrees F).

TIP #8: Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. If possible, mothers should exclusively breastfeed or feed with expressed human milk (i.e., not offer any formula or other non-human milk- based supplements) for 6 months, in alignment with recommendations of the AAP.

TIP #9: Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS - These devices include wedges, positioners, special mattresses, and special sleep surfaces. There is no evidence that these devices reduce the risk of SIDS or suffocation or that they are safe. a. The AAP concurs with the US Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission that manufacturers should not claim that a product or device protects against SIDS unless there is scientific evidence to that effect. Do not use home cardio respiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS.

TIP #10: Travel is one of the biggest causes of sleep disturbances to a baby in many ways. As you pack your bags to travel for holidays, remember to include what you'll need to ensure a separate, safe sleeping environment for your baby while away from home. If you plan to stay in a hotel, ask in advance if they have cribs available that you can use in your room. SAFE TRAVELS!!