Partners for Healthy Babies https://1800251baby.org Bureau of Family Health Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:25:25 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 Long Live Louisiana Grandparents: Preventing Falls among Older Adults https://1800251baby.org/help-louisiana-grandparents-stay-healthy-role-preventing-falls/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:36:19 +0000 https://1800251baby.org/?p=921 Grandparents are a cornerstone of Louisiana families. They play a key role in their grandchildren’s growth and development and can serve as an essential source of wisdom and experience for new parents. But grandparents don’t always just play a helping role – in Louisiana and across the United States, many grandparents are the primary caregivers

The post Long Live Louisiana Grandparents: Preventing Falls among Older Adults appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Grandparents are a cornerstone of Louisiana families. They play a key role in their grandchildren’s growth and development and can serve as an essential source of wisdom and experience for new parents. But grandparents don’t always just play a helping role – in Louisiana and across the United States, many grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Louisiana has the third-highest percentage of children living with their grandparents in the United States. Roughly 1 in 9 children live with grandparents who are the heads of households. Children’s parents often also live in these households, but grandparents are the primary caregivers for over 72,000 children in Louisiana. Helping ensure that grandparents remain healthy and active as they get older is critically important for Louisiana families.

One way to help ensure the health of Louisiana grandparents is to prevent falls. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in Louisiana and in the nation.¹ In 2014-2015, an average of 8,400 hospitalizations occurred due to unintentional falls each year.² That means that about once per hour in Louisiana, a person is hospitalized for a fall.³ The majority of fall-related hospitalizations in 2014-2015 occurred in people aged 75 or older, and about 3,200 resulted in hip fractures (38%), while 1,500 resulted in traumatic brain injury (18%).²

Falls don’t always just lead to injury – they can be fatal, especially among older people. In 2015, 341 Louisianans died due to unintentional falls.³ The majority of those fall-related deaths occurred in people 75 years or older (218 deaths).³

The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. The National Council on Aging recommends six steps you can take to help protect your older loved ones from falls:

  1. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Ask your older loved one if they’re concerned about falling. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk, but they believe it won’t happen to them or they won’t get hurt, even if they’ve already fallen in the past. If they’re concerned about falling, dizziness, or balance, suggest that they discuss it with their health care provider.
  2. Discuss their current health conditions and medications. Are they having trouble remembering to take their medications or are they experiencing side effects? Is it getting more difficult for them to do things they used to do easily? Are hearing and vision changes becoming a problem? Encourage them to speak openly with their health care provider about all of their concerns. Also make sure they’re taking advantage of all the preventive benefits now offered under Medicare, such as the Annual Wellness visit.
  3. Ask about their last eye checkup. If they wear glasses, make sure they have a current prescription and they’re using the glasses as advised by their eye doctor. Tint-changing lenses can be hazardous when going from bright sun into darker buildings and homes. A simple strategy is to change glasses when they go inside, or stop walking until their lenses adjust. Bifocals also can also cause issues on stairs, so it’s important to be cautious. Those struggling with low vision should consult with a low vision specialist for ways to make the most of their eyesight.
  4. Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they are having difficulty walking or getting up from a chair. These are all signs that it might be time to see a physical therapist. A trained physical therapist can help your older loved one improve their balance, strength, and gait through exercise. They might also suggest a cane or walker and provide guidance on how to use these aids safely.
  5. Talk about their medications. If your older loved one is having a hard time keeping track of medicines or is experiencing side effects, encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctor and pharmacist. Suggest that they have their medications reviewed each time they get a new prescription. Also, beware of non-prescription medications that contain sleep aids —including painkillers with “PM” in their names. These can lead to balance issues and dizziness. If your older loved one is having sleeping problems, encourage them to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about safer alternatives
  6. Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home. There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer. Increase lighting throughout the house, and make sure it’s easy to turn the lights on when getting up in the middle of the night. Make sure stairs have two secure rails. In bathrooms, install grab bars in the tub or shower and near the toilet. For greater safety, a shower chair or handheld shower can be a great solution. For professional assistance, consult an Occupational Therapist.

If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or neighbor in your life, helping them reduce their risk of falling is a great way to help them stay healthy and independent as long as possible. You can find more fall-prevention resources from the National Council on Aging online.

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2015) [9/20/2017]. Available from URL: cdc.gov/injury/wisqars
  2. Louisiana hospital discharge data (2015 and 2014)
  3. Louisiana Vital Records (2015)

The post Long Live Louisiana Grandparents: Preventing Falls among Older Adults appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Suicide Prevention Training Programs Available in Louisiana https://1800251baby.org/suicide-prevention-training-programs-professionals-general-public-available/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:33:17 +0000 https://1800251baby.org/?p=907 September is national Suicide Prevention Month, though the Louisiana Department of Health is committed to reducing and preventing suicides throughout the year. Healthcare professionals, mental health providers, professional caregivers, and the general public can all play a role in preventing suicide. Trainings are available to help each of these groups understand what they can do

The post Suicide Prevention Training Programs Available in Louisiana appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
September is national Suicide Prevention Month, though the Louisiana Department of Health is committed to reducing and preventing suicides throughout the year. Healthcare professionals, mental health providers, professional caregivers, and the general public can all play a role in preventing suicide. Trainings are available to help each of these groups understand what they can do to to help prevent and manage suicidality among their family, friends, and the people they serve.

The following training programs focus on assessment, intervention, treatment and management of suicide. All of the programs are evidence-based and follow standards and recommendations set by suicide prevention experts.

Trainings for Mental Health Professionals


Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR):  Core Competencies for Mental Health Professionals: A one-day workshop for mental health professionals that will help them better assess suicide risk, plan treatment, and manage the ongoing care of at-risk clients. AMSR requires instruction from a qualified trainer. Training is available from the SPRC Training Institute for a fee.  6.5 continuing education credits are available from NASW, NBCC, APA and Continuing Medical Education Credits (CME).  For more information, including the price of AMSR workshops and trainers available in your area, please contact amsr@edc.org.

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk (RRSR):  Essential Skills for Clinicians: An advanced two-day interactive training for mental health clinicians who want to acquire competency-based skills for working with clients at risk for suicide.  RRSR requires instruction by a qualified trainer. Training is available from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) for a fee.  For inquiries about scheduled trainings, please visit the AAS training site or contact 202.237.2280.

Trainings for Healthcare Professionals


QPRT Risk Assessment and Management Training: A ten-hour course for healthcare professionals that is designed to reduce mental health consumer morbidity and mortality by standardizing the detection, assessment, and management of patients at elevated risk for suicidal behaviors in all settings and across the age span. Training is conducted online or face-to-face by a qualified QPRT instructor. Training is available from the QPR Institute for a fee by following this link to training courses.

Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk in Primary Care (RRSR-PC): A one-hour facilitated training for primary care physicians, physician assistants, and others who work in primary care settings. The training will help them better identify, manage, and treat adult patients who are at risk for suicide. Training is deliverable face-to-face or by webinar.  Training is available from the American Association of Suicidology for a fee; a webinar option is available also on this link on the AAS site.  For more information, email info@suicidology.org or call 202.237.2280.

Preventing Suicide in Emergency Department Patients (online course): Emergency departments play an important role in suicide prevention. The self-paced online course teaches healthcare professionals who work in an emergency department how to conduct screening, assessment, and brief interventions, such as safety planning and lethal means counseling. It also addresses patient-centered care for patients with suicide risk, patient safety during the emergency department visit, and incorporating suicide prevention into discharge planning. This course was created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at EDC, Inc. with funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Trainings for All Audiences (Professional and Lay Audiences)


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST): A customizable 14-hour (2 consecutive days), two-trainer suicide prevention workshop designed for members of all caregiving groups. ASIST requires instruction from a qualified trainer. Training is available from LivingWorks or qualified trainers for a fee. For additional information from the SPRC regarding the course, click here.  To find an ASIST training in your area, follow this link to the LivingWorks website.

Connect Suicide Prevention/Intervention Training: A six-hour training program in suicide prevention/intervention across the lifespan for professionals and laypersons. Using a modified socioecological model, Connect examines suicide in the context of the individual, family, tribe, community, and society. Training is available from NAMI-New Hampshire for a fee.  To find additional resources for specific audiences, please visit the Connect Program site.  To find a training in your area, please call 1.800.242.6264.

Suicide Prevention Training for Gatekeepers of Older Adults: An 8-hour gatekeeper training program for those who have regular contact with older adults through their personal, professional or volunteer activities.  For more information about gatekeeper training or to schedule a training, please call Mary Quinn at 978.327.6672 or mquinn@fsmv.org.

The post Suicide Prevention Training Programs Available in Louisiana appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Hurricane and Flooding Resources for Families https://1800251baby.org/hurricane-flooding-resources-families/ Fri, 01 Sep 2017 18:37:59 +0000 http://1800251baby.org/?p=887 EMERGENCY & DISASTER RECOVERY RESOURCES Sheltering: Find a shelter or and locate lost loved ones: Red Cross Shelter locator FEMA assistance: Register for FEMA Assistance online or call 1-800-621-FEMA. Food assistance: If a family or individual thinks that their household could be impacted by damages or lost wages due to a hurricane or other disaster,

The post Hurricane and Flooding Resources for Families appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
EMERGENCY & DISASTER RECOVERY RESOURCES

Sheltering:

Find a shelter or and locate lost loved ones: Red Cross Shelter locator

FEMA assistance:

Register for FEMA Assistance online or call 1-800-621-FEMA.

Food assistance:

If a family or individual thinks that their household could be impacted by damages or lost wages due to a hurricane or other disaster, they should pre-register online or by phone for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/food stamps (D-SNAP). D-SNAP provides eligible low- to moderate-income households – who do not normally receive SNAP benefits – with help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. Find out more or preregister for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/food stamps (D-SNAP) by calling 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) or visiting their website.

To preregister, people need the following info handy:

  • – Name, Social Security number and date of birth for each household member
  • – Current address and parish of household
  • – Monthly income for each household member
  • – All liquid assets cash on hand, checking, savings for each household member

People who ALREADY received SNAP benefits don’t need to register – their benefited will be automatically activated.

Personal items & materials assistance (includes food):

Childcare:

Regional child care resource and referral agencies can help people in flood-affected regions find open child care centers. Parents and caregivers should call their local agency a call to find out

WIC RESOURCES

WIC participants that evacuated to Louisiana from Texas can receive WIC vouchers and services at the WIC clinic closest to them in Louisiana. Louisiana WIC offices will work with Texas WIC to get clients what they need. Find a WIC clinic online or call 1-800-251-BABY (2229).

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCES

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

  • – Provides immediate crisis counseling to anyone who may need help in dealing with the problems associated with the severe flooding in the impacted parishes of Louisiana.
  • – The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy.

RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH SPECIAL HEALTH NEEDS:

  • Regional resource guides (detailed lists with resources at a parish level)
  • – This article lists many resources for helping families with children with special health care needs cope with emergency and disaster situations

RESOURCES FOR BREASTFEEDING:

  • – Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association’s 24-hour breastfeeding support hotline (staffed by lactation consultants): 1-800-313-6141
  • LABreastfeedingSupport.org – find breastfeeding resources, including lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, and breastfeeding supplies by zip code.

RESOURCES FOR SAFE SLEEP:

The post Hurricane and Flooding Resources for Families appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
BFH Leads Collaborative Efforts to Improve Early Childhood Systems https://1800251baby.org/bfh-leads-collaborative-efforts-improve-early-childhood-systems/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 21:35:43 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=833 In the beginning of May, the Bureau of Family Health’s (BFH) developmental screening program convened key stakeholders in New Orleans and Lafayette to map out current practices and identify gaps in Louisiana’s developmental screening and early intervention systems for children. A total of 76 attendees consisted of on-the-ground developmental screening and early intervention service providers

The post BFH Leads Collaborative Efforts to Improve Early Childhood Systems appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
In the beginning of May, the Bureau of Family Health’s (BFH) developmental screening program convened key stakeholders in New Orleans and Lafayette to map out current practices and identify gaps in Louisiana’s developmental screening and early intervention systems for children. A total of 76 attendees consisted of on-the-ground developmental screening and early intervention service providers (public health nurses, physicians, and family representatives), those at front lines of family support, and a representative from the Governor’s Office. 

Findings and recommendations from the meetings will be shared with relevant stakeholders in Louisiana, who will then assess them for feasibility and provide input into next steps for Lafayette and the state. The national Maternal and Child Health Workforce Development Center is also providing technical assistance on this project and will be analyzing the feedback from the discussions to inform future systems improvement opportunities and immediate and longer-term action steps.

In addition to these meetings, interviews were conducted with those with touch points around developmental screening and early intervention. Efforts to survey all Lafayette-area pediatric and family medicine practices on developmental screening and early intervention services and referral is underway.

Other efforts to ensure that children and youth with special health care needs receive appropriate and adequate health services include the Children’s Special Health Services Resource Catalogue, which has been updated and converted to an electronic publication. The Resource Catalogue includes region-specific resources around screening and referral, early intervention and education, transition, behavioral health, and community supports. Regional resource guides can be found here.

 

The post BFH Leads Collaborative Efforts to Improve Early Childhood Systems appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Louisiana Department of Health Responds to Elevated Lead Levels in St. Joseph Water System https://1800251baby.org/louisiana-department-health-responds-elevated-lead-levels-st-joseph-water-system/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 05:00:52 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=336 In December 2016, Governor Edwards issued a public health emergency for the Town of St. Joseph, after two samples of water were found to have elevated levels of lead. Further testing was done at all residences and businesses getting water from the St. Joseph Water System, and 36 high risk sites (50 ppb) requiring further

The post Louisiana Department of Health Responds to Elevated Lead Levels in St. Joseph Water System appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
In December 2016, Governor Edwards issued a public health emergency for the Town of St. Joseph, after two samples of water were found to have elevated levels of lead. Further testing was done at all residences and businesses getting water from the St. Joseph Water System, and 36 high risk sites (50 ppb) requiring further intervention
were identified.

Shortly after the elevated lead levels were detected, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program sent outreach workers to each of the 36 high risk sites identified to educate residents and to ask if children under 6 or pregnant women lived or stayed at the home or business for 10 hours or more each week. These educators also provided informational materials, encouraged lead testing of children, and reminded residents not to drink or cook with tap water, stressing that boiling does not remove lead.

The Healthy Homes program also planned complete environmental investigations of homes to fully assess the property and discover any other sources of lead, such as paint, soil or products containing lead.

Residents of St. Joseph are encouraged to visit the LDH website or call 1-866-280-7287 to find up-to-date information about elevated lead levels in the St. Joseph Water System.

The post Louisiana Department of Health Responds to Elevated Lead Levels in St. Joseph Water System appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Region 7 Community Action Team Honored for Excellence in Serving Children https://1800251baby.org/region-7-community-action-team-honored-excellence-serving-children/ Tue, 06 Dec 2016 05:00:31 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=334 BFH’s Community Action Team (CAT) in northwest Louisiana received the Dr. Donald G. Mack Award in recognition of the team’s “hard work, devotion and commitment to excellence in serving the children of Northwest Louisiana.”  The award is given annually by the Northwest Louisiana Pediatric Society to a non-physician/group that has shown outstanding service to improve

The post Region 7 Community Action Team Honored for Excellence in Serving Children appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
BFH’s Community Action Team (CAT) in northwest Louisiana received the Dr. Donald G. Mack Award in
recognition of the team’s “hard work, devotion and commitment to excellence in serving the children of Northwest Louisiana.”  The award is given annually by the Northwest Louisiana Pediatric Society to a non-physician/group that has shown outstanding service to improve the healthcare for children in region.

The award serves as recognition for the CAT’s consistent mobilization of community involvement in issues affecting the well-being of children. Key focus areas for the CAT include: safe sleep, motor vehicle accident prevention, fire prevention, drowning prevention, suicide prevention, and firearm safety.

The group is continuing to provide leadership in the community and has recently expanded its purview and membership by including maternal, infant and child health home visiting as a focus area and by assuring that parent voices are also represented. This updated Community Action & Advisory Team (CAAT) is composed of health care professionals, law enforcement personnel, fire department and EMS staff, educators, mental health professionals, juvenile justice advocates, members of the judiciary, coroners, non-profit and philanthropy leaders, social service providers, home visiting staff and private citizens.

The post Region 7 Community Action Team Honored for Excellence in Serving Children appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Louisiana Took Action to Promote Safe Sleep during SIDS Awareness Month https://1800251baby.org/louisiana-took-action-promote-safe-sleep-sids-awareness-month/ Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:00:39 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=283 October was SIDS Awareness month, and the Bureau of Family Health’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coordinators used the month as an opportunity to support and promote safe infant sleeping across the state. MCH coordinators worked with local partners to organize activities to increase awareness of safe sleeping practices; provide safe infant sleeping education to

The post Louisiana Took Action to Promote Safe Sleep during SIDS Awareness Month appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
October was SIDS Awareness month, and the Bureau of Family Health’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Coordinators used the month as an opportunity to support and promote safe infant sleeping across the state.

MCH coordinators worked with local partners to organize activities to increase awareness of safe sleeping practices; provide safe infant sleeping education to providers; help parents implement safe sleep at home; and further our understanding of sleep-related infant deaths and how to prevent them.

For more information and resources related to safe infant sleeping, visit GiveYourBabySpace.com.

Activity highlights by region:

Region 3: Houma/Thibodeaux Area

  • Louise Karisny, RN, Regional Nurse Manager and a safe sleep champion, inspired staff within the Lafourche, St. Mary and Terrebonne Parish Health Units to model safe sleep practices using visual aids and demonstrations.
  • Terrebonne General Medical Center produced a SIDS Awareness segment on their series “TGMC To Your Health.” It aired locally throughout October.

Region 4: Greater Lafayette Area

  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital added safe sleep information to its online health library, and Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) featured SIDS and safe sleeping on its parenting
    blog
    . LGMC also included extra safe infant sleeping education material in discharge instructions for all babies discharged during October.
  • Dr. Scott Hamilton, an emergency department pediatric physician at LGMC, wrote a two part article on SIDS and safe sleep education in the Sunday edition of The Advertiser.
  • MCH
    Coordinator Christine Cornell shared the Bureau of Family Health’s Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) data with key contacts at several delivering hospitals. The Education Coordinator at Opelousas General Health System will also share this information with the obstetricians and pediatricians affiliated with the hospital.

Region 5: Greater Lake Charles Area

  • The Southwest Louisiana Safe Sleep Task Force, with help from Charlie’s Kids Foundation, organized the second annual Stroll & Roll Event. The event and benefit is held in memory of Kaden Reed, who tragically lost his life due to an unsafe sleep environment. As a result of the benefit, 120 books, pack n’ play portable cribs and other safe sleep materials were donated to major birthing hospitals. The task force also worked with Allen
    Parish Hospital to host a community event for safe sleep awareness.
  • Education on safe sleep, car seat safety and SUID investigations was provided to 19 McNeese State University nursing students and two instructors.
  • Updated print materials on safe infant sleeping were given to all Region 5 Parish Health Units for use with their clients.

Region 6: Greater Alexandria Area

  • A video public service announcement (PSA) on safe infant sleeping was developed Dr. Jonathan Hunter, of the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office, with help from MCH Coordinator Lisa Norman and the Bureau of Family Health’s Communication, Innovation and Action Team. The PSA is expected to air on public television at least once a day for a year.
  • Rapides Regional Medical Center recently underwent an accreditation survey by the Joint Commission and received praise for their safe sleep practices. These practices were a result of a collaboration with their local Kiwanis Club chapter, which was facilitated by the Region 6 MCH Coordinators. Kiwanis Club provided funds for Rapides Regional to set up safe infant sleeping displays using cribs, pack n’ plays, and dolls in the lobby and nursery of their Rapides Regional’s Women’s
    Center. The displays were paired safe sleep information. The Joint Commission identified this as a best practice in their survey, and intend to share it with other hospitals.
  • Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program staff were trained by the Region 6 MCH Coordinators on safe infant sleeping.
  • Amerigroup sponsored a community baby shower focused on safe infant sleeping.
  • Healing Hearts Perinatal Loss Support Group sponsored an event for families who suffered the loss of an infant. Families were invited to participate in a “Walk to Remember” at the Alexandria Zoo.

Region 7: Greater Shreveport Area

  • The Region 7 Community Action Team distributed 25 safe sleep posters to the region’s Public Health Clinics, area hospitals, two universities and a variety of non-profits. The team asked participating locations to set up safe sleep demonstration areas including pack n’ plays with a baby dolls wearing a safe sleep onesies. Baby dolls and pack n’ plays were loaned or given as needed.
  • A letter soliciting pack n’ plays or other donations went out to Child Death Review Team membership and many houses of faith in the Shreveport-Bossier area. $600 in donations were received and 14 pack n’ plays were purchased. Some will be used for displays while others will be distributed to families in need. These efforts were highlighted in a Shreveport Times article.
  • In order to gauge public awareness of safe infant sleeping, surveys were administered to new or expecting parents. Five $20 Walmart gift cards from an anonymous donor were used as incentives for completing the surveys.
  • MCH Coordinator Shelley Ryan Gray coordinated a safe sleep environment demonstration at a Super Safety Saturday community event.

Region 8: Greater Monroe Area

  • Region 8 MIECHV program staff participated in a community health fair and demonstrated safe infant sleeping practices using baby dolls. They also distributed printed information on safe sleep.

The post Louisiana Took Action to Promote Safe Sleep during SIDS Awareness Month appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Updated safe sleep guidance emphasizes risks of sofa sleeping, importance of room sharing https://1800251baby.org/updated-safe-sleep-guidance-emphasizes-risks-sofa-sleeping-importance-room-sharing/ Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:00:56 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=278 Most pediatricians know what makes a safe sleep environment for babies. But parents still are attracted to elaborate bedding and plush accessories — all the accoutrements experts say have no place in an infant’s crib. That’s one reason new AAP safe sleep guidelines released today include basic recommendations from the past plus new warnings about

The post Updated safe sleep guidance emphasizes risks of sofa sleeping, importance of room sharing appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Most pediatricians know what makes a safe sleep environment for babies. But parents still are attracted to elaborate bedding and plush accessories — all the accoutrements experts say have no place in an infant’s crib.

That’s one reason new AAP safe sleep guidelines released today include basic recommendations from the past plus new warnings about increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) from use of soft bedding and the dangers of babies sleeping on couches and armchairs.

Nineteen evidence-based recommendations (see below) aimed at protecting infants up to 1 year of age are featured in SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment, an AAP policy statement and technical report from the Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The guidance, updated from 2011, considers data from 63 new studies as well as a recent AAP clinical report on the benefits of skin-to-skin care for newborns.

Safe sleep recommendations include placing infants on their backs to sleep; using a firm sleep surface; room sharing without bed sharing; avoiding exposure to smoke,
alcohol and illicit drugs; breastfeeding; routine immunization; and using a pacifier.

SIDS facts

Every year, about 3,500 infants die from sleep-related deaths. Soon after the Back to Sleep campaign debuted in 1994, the SIDS rate declined, but it has leveled off
in recent years. Ninety percent of cases occur before an infant turns 6 months of age, with peak incidence between 1 and 4 months.

Most parents know the importance of placing babies on their backs to sleep; the focus now is on the total sleep environment.

“I think the back-to-sleep message has gotten out loud and clear,” said Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., FAAP, lead author of the statements and chair of the task force. “When
you ask parents, almost every parent knows — whether they are doing it or not is a different thing. We have been less successful at getting people to not sleep with
their babies … and much less successful in getting the soft bedding away from babies.”

Are dangers not intuitive?

Unfortunately, there is a sense that bed-sharing and soft bedding are protective, Dr. Moon said.

“For the soft bedding, everybody thinks if it’s soft, then it can’t hurt the baby. But soft bedding is actually really a problem because it’s so soft they sink into it. People will often use pillows to ‘cushion’ the babies, and babies sink into them. …That’s very dangerous.”

It’s similar with bed-sharing, she said. “Some parents also think if baby is right next to them, they can tell if there is a problem … and protect the baby.”

Other messages

Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., FAAP, a neonatologist and task force member, reminds parents of the “ABCs”: A for the baby sleeping alone, for back-sleeping and C for sleeping in an uncluttered crib (or play-yard or bassinet).

“Outside of these, one of the biggest things I would really like to see people take away from the updated recommendations is that no matter what, babies should never
sleep on a couch, especially with another person,” Dr. Goodstein said. Babies can get wedged between the adult and the cushions.

The policy also warns of the dangers of parents falling asleep while feeding the baby, and it provides broad guidelines to minimize risk in that situation.

If babies are swaddled, it’s essential to place them on their backs, Dr. Moon said. If placed on their stomachs, they can’t move and have no defense mechanism. When babies look like they are starting to roll, they should no longer be swaddled.

Breastfeeding, along with the use of a pacifier after breastfeeding is established, also is a key recommendation. “We don’t know if people realize that (by breastfeeding) you reduce the risk of SIDS about 50%,” Dr. Goodstein said.

Parents also are advised to be vigilant about environments out of the home. A study in the November issue of Pediatrics found out-of-home settings are more likely to have certain risk factors for sleep-related deaths, including prone placement for sleep and location in a stroller or car seat instead of a crib or bassinet (Kassa H, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;138(5):e20161124, http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1124). More education is needed for caregivers.

Sometimes caregivers — and others — associate longer sleeping with happier babies and that is another misconception, according to Dr. Moon. It’s normal and appropriate
for newborns to wake up a couple of times during the night, especially if breastfeeding, said Dr. Goodstein.

Families may be confused by the proliferation of “SIDS-prevention-type” products, but no product prevents SIDS.

“What concerns me,” said Dr. Moon, “is that a lot of parents think there is a proactive agency that checks all of these products before they go on the market, like an ‘FDA’ for (SIDS) products. But there isn’t.”

2016 safe sleep recommendations

1. Place infants on their back to sleep (supine) for every sleep period until they are 1 year old. This position does not increase the risk of choking and aspiration.

2. Use a firm sleep surface.

3. Breastfeeding is recommended.

4. Infants should sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for the first year, but at least for the first six months.

5. Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the infant’s sleep area.

6. Consider offering a pacifier at naptime and bedtime.

7. Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth.

8. Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.

9. Avoid overheating and head covering in infants.

10. Pregnant women should obtain regular prenatal care.

11. Infants should be immunized according to the recommended schedule.

12. Avoid using commercial devices that are inconsistent with safe sleep recommendations, such as wedges and positioners.

13. Don’t use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce SIDS risk.

14. Supervised tummy time while the infant is awake can help development and minimize positional plagiocephaly.

15. There is no evidence to recommend swaddling to reduce the risk of SIDS.

16. Health care professionals and staff in newborn nurseries and neonatal intensive care units as well as child care providers should endorse and model recommendations
to reduce SIDS risk.

17. Media and manufacturers should follow safe sleep guidelines in messaging and advertising.

18. Continue the Safe to Sleep campaign, focusing on ways to further reduce sleep-related deaths.

19. Research and surveillance should continue on all risk factors.

 

The post Updated safe sleep guidance emphasizes risks of sofa sleeping, importance of room sharing appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
AUGUST FLOODS MET WITH STRONG BFH RESPONSE https://1800251baby.org/august-floods-met-strong-bfh-response/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 04:00:12 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=274 One of our goals at the Bureau of Family Health (BFH) is to keep families safe when disasters hit – like the August floods. Even if families planned ahead for disaster, many were surprised by the speed and severity of these floodwaters and many people were – and in some cases still are – displaced with

The post AUGUST FLOODS MET WITH STRONG BFH RESPONSE appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
One of our goals at the Bureau of Family Health (BFH) is to keep families safe when disasters hit – like the August floods. Even if families planned ahead for disaster, many were surprised by the speed and severity of these floodwaters and many people were – and in some cases still are – displaced with scant resources.

BFH staff and partners worked diligently during and after the floods to help people in affected regions. Some key actions taken by BFH to keep families safe and healthy are listed below.

  • Over 40 BFH staff were deployed to flood-affected areas to help in Emergency Operations Centers, Medical Special Needs shelters, or general shelters.
  • BFH staff and partners worked together to ensure that all infants in shelters had safe places to sleep. Displaced families were also provided information and resources to help them follow safe sleep guidelines while away from their homes.
  • BFH Home Visiting Program staff identified program participants that were in need of assistance, shared disaster assistance resources, and volunteered at disaster assistance sites.
  • Reproductive Health Program staff helped people in flood-affected areas find health care facilities that were still able to provide services. Staff also helped people who had reproductive health services appointments scheduled during the floods reconnect with providers post-flood.
  • The Partners for Healthy Babies help line, websiteFacebook and Twitter pages provided up-to-date information about and referrals to local and national resources for flood-affected families.

BFH is continually refining its disaster preparedness and response strategies. We will be using lessons learned during the August floods to prepare for and meet the needs of Louisiana families during future disasters.

 

 

The post AUGUST FLOODS MET WITH STRONG BFH RESPONSE appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Make Sure Your Baby Sleep Safely, Wherever They Sleep https://1800251baby.org/make-sure-baby-sleep-safely-wherever-sleep/ Fri, 19 Aug 2016 04:00:05 +0000 http://50.116.75.232/?p=270 Louisiana Department of Health offers tips on safe sleep, breastfeeding for families displaced by floods As families affected by recent floods continue to evacuate their homes, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) offers advice for finding a safe place for babies to sleep. Displaced parents with babies 1 year old or younger may not have

The post Make Sure Your Baby Sleep Safely, Wherever They Sleep appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>
Louisiana Department of Health offers tips on safe sleep, breastfeeding for families displaced by floods

As families affected by recent floods continue to evacuate their homes, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) offers advice for finding a safe place for babies to sleep.

Displaced parents with babies 1 year old or younger may not have been able to evacuate with a standard or portable crib, and the home or shelter where they are staying may not have one available. It is extremely important to provide infants a safe container for sleeping.

  • Flat surface: No matter what the container is, the sleep surface must be flat and firm.
  • Other containers: If a crib isn’t available, a baby up to 2 months old can be placed to sleep in a laundry basket, box, carton, drawer or washtub. Make sure that these alternate containers are placed on the floor, and keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the container. No pillows, stuffed toys, or blankets should be placed into the container with the baby.
  • Not safe: Babies should never sleep on an air mattress, waterbed, sofa, futon, or pillow.

Breastfeeding babies during an emergency helps protect them from contaminated water supplies and from diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory diseases. Here are some useful tips for breastfeeding moms.

March of Dimes offers additional resources to help people care for their families in a disaster here.

For emergency updates from LDH, visit ldh.la.gov/emergency. Additional resources are available from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness here.

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. To learn more about LDH, visit ldh.la.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH’s Twitter account and Facebook.

The post Make Sure Your Baby Sleep Safely, Wherever They Sleep appeared first on Partners for Healthy Babies.

]]>