BASF and Dow contribute Pack N Plays
to the “All Children Can Enjoy Safe Sleep” (A.C.C.E.S.S.) Program
For over 30 years, the Southwest SIDS Research Institute has passionately strived to provide medical, educational, support, and research services to families and caretakers of SIDS, high risk, and normal healthy infants.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be placed on a firm sleep surface, and not soft surfaces such as sofas, bean bags, or waterbeds. The AAP also recommends that infants be placed in a separate area near the parent(s). Unfortunately many parents resort to bed-sharing with their infants because of the inability to afford the high costs of a crib. Research has shown that bed-sharing with an infant in an adult bed or nontraditional surface is hazardous to the infant due to the high risks of entrapment, possible overlaying by the parent, sibling, or other adult sharing the bed, and dangers of soft bedding. The A.C.C.E.S.S. Program is designed to supply qualifying low-income parent(s) with a Graco Pack N Play, therefore reducing the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and accidental asphyxiation.
Data collected both nationally and by Texas officials have demonstrated a frightening trend: although SIDS deaths have declined, co-sleeping deaths & deaths associated with unsafe sleep practices have increased four-fold since the 1980s. A co-sleeping death occurs every other day in Texas. Statistics released July 14th, 2014 in an article in Pediatrics entitled “Sleep Environment Risks for Younger and Older Infants” showed that the majority of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) were associated with unsafe sleep practices. This study of 8207 deaths documented that 73.8% of deaths in infants < 4 months of age occurred with bed-sharing. Older babies (>= 4 months) were more likely to have an unsafe object (stuffed toy, bumper pads, blankets) in their sleep environment. These deaths are potentially preventable deaths and underscore the critical need for parental education and compliance with safe sleep practices.
Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 the Institute provided 68 Pack N Plays to area infants. As part of the A.C.C.E.S.S. program, the families are trained in risk reduction and given free safe sleep materials. A Safe Sleep Kit is also provided to reinforce safe sleep practices. These kits include a blanket sleeper (appropriate for season), a onesie with the ABC’s of Safe Sleep (Alone, On My Back, In My Crib), pacifiers, a daycare provider’s guide to Safe Sleep, information from the American Academy of Pediatrics re: risk reduction, & a door hanger advocating Back to Sleep. Our education program provided safe sleep information to 7,303 individuals during the last fiscal year. Community based impact studies document a lower than average rate of unexpected infant death in areas of out-reach.
BASF’s and Dow’s generous donations will go a long way toward ensuring the success of our continued battle against preventable infant death in Brazoria County. To apply for a Pack N Play or to receive Safe Sleep information, contact Brenda Onopa, Staff Educator, at 979-297-2101. Once approved for a Pack N Play, the parent(s) are required to attend a general Safe Sleep class held in our office at 230 Parking Way in Lake Jackson, Texas. The class will also go over proper set up and safety of the Graco Pack N Play