September 19, 2014

Elyria
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Onesies for newborns intended to help prevent SIDS

Natalie Karn, RN/MSN, displays the new onesies given to newborns in order to help remind parents about the dangers of SIDs and how their children should sleep in their cribs. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Natalie Karn, RN/MSN, displays the new onesies given to newborns in order to help remind parents about the dangers of SIDs and how their children should sleep in their cribs. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Lorain County health organizations are trying to prevent sleep-related infant deaths, which account for more infant deaths in Ohio than any single cause except premature births.

The statistics, provided by the SID Network of Ohio, paint a grim picture.

In Ohio, 277 babies died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome from 2005 to 2009, with SIDS claiming about 2,300 infants a year in the U.S., according to the Ohio Child Fatality Review 11th annual report.

The majority of SIDS deaths are sleep-related, and most sleep-related deaths occur before 6 months of age.

Natalie Karn, a registered nurse at the Lorain County General Health District, said that’s why educating new mothers is so important. Karn conducts home visits with new mothers within six weeks of the child’s birth with an emphasis on educating the mother on safe sleeping arrangements.

101613_SIDSONESIES_KB03Karn is also one of several employees at the Lorain County General Health District who pass out safe sleep awareness onesies, which were provided by the SID Network of Ohio. The onesies were also distributed to the Elyria City Health District, Lorain City Health Department, Mercy Regional Medical Center and EMH Elyria Medical Center, according to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

Evans has been a local proponent for the program, hoping that the onesies will raise awareness. He said 90 percent of SIDS deaths can be attributed to unsafe sleep patterns.

The onesies read, “I sleep safe on my back in my crib” and serve as a safety reminder to new moms.

Dave Covell, health commissioner at the Lorain County Health District, said a problem with new mothers is that some believe babies should have a lot of padding in their cribs, but that isn’t the case. Infants can roll around and suffocate in blanketing or stuffed animals, he said.

Covell said until the 1990s, it was recommended that babies sleep on their stomachs, but the recommendation was later changed.

“The clear message is that the baby needs to sleep on its back, so it should be done,” he said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.


  • charla65

    Sleep on their backs, so if they spit up they can choke on it? I say on their side

    • ken

      how do you keep them on their side? don’t they roll around?

      • Beth

        Its really really out-dated info to put a baby on it’s side. Babies don’t chock because they projectile vomit, that is, they spit like the girl in the Exorcist. The reason you do not put them on their sides is because they can roll onto their stomachs.

  • mdr12372

    Breastfeeding also helps reduce the risk of SIDS; babies wake more frequently to be fed when they are breastfed because their stomachs digest it faster. While it’s not as convenient for the parent, breastfeeding exclusively is believed to reduce the risk by 73%.

    • Beth

      I breastfed/am breastfeeding my kids…it is WAY more convenient than bottle feeding! Pulling up my shirt is less complicated than making formula in the middle of the night. :-)

  • WatchStopper

    *safely

    Proper grammar is important if you want to appear credible, Lorain County General Health District.