Published on July 7, 2009 in THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.
Hospitals push safe sleep practices for infants
By Heather J. Chin
Inquirer Staff Writer
For the last year, parents have been banned from sleeping with their sick babies at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
The hospital instituted the policy after three infants over three months were pronounced dead in the emergency room after bed sharing-related accidents at home.
Babies who sleep with a parent can become overheated, be rolled onto, or be smothered by soft sheets or pillows. They can also lose circulation if wedged between the mattress and furniture.
The hospital's ER typically gets one such death every couple of months. But the "little cluster" of tragedies early last year inspired St. Christopher's nurses to propose that the hospital lead by example.
"Today, people often don't have primary pediatricians," said emergency nursing director Kirsten Johnson-Moore. "So emergency departments, I feel, have a responsibility to educate and prevent."
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