Safe baby, safe child: Hundreds attend conference on ensuring safe sleeping for babies

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Unsafe sleeping is the most common cause of child death in Kern County.

Over 100 people attended the Safe Baby, Safe Child conference at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

"A lot of it is misinformation, so new parents are maybe not getting information that they need to protect their children against this issue," Russell Hasting with Kern County Child Death Review Team said. "The other thing is that there are incidents where maybe infants are placed in an unsafe environment and ultimately succumb to the environment they have been placed in."

Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is the most common form of death in infants between the age of one month and one year.     

Thomas Keens with California SIDS Advisory Council said SIDS can be prevented by following the public health recommendations.

"The most important probably is having babies sleep on their backs, not on their stomachs or their sides," Keens said. "Having a crib that is safe that has a firm mattress, not having any other objects in the crib that could potentially could be a suffocation hazard for example."   

Keens said bed sharing also increases a risk for SIDS.

"The recommendation is that babies can sleep in their own cribs right next to their moms bed," Keens said. "Mom can bring the baby into bed to breast feed, which is also encouraged, but then put the baby back in his own or her own separate sleeping area." 

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