ATLANTA - (WTVM) - The Georgia Department of Public Health and several other state agencies kicked off a new campaign Thursday to save the lives of infants. It's called the Georgia Safe to Sleep Campaign, a statewide effort created to protect infants from preventable sleep-related deaths.
Each year more than 4,000 infants in the U.S. without a prior known illness or injury die suddenly from causes attributed to their sleep environment.
Georgia averages about three infant deaths per week due to SIDS and sleep related causes according to the State Department of Public Health. Officials say nearly 90 percent of those deaths happen in the first six months of a baby's life.
This new campaign stresses the A-B-C's of sleep. Babies should sleep "alone" in their own space, as some deaths are caused by adults rolling on top of them. They should also be placed on their "back" to sleep, unlike some common misconceptions, new research shows sleeping on their backs in safer. Finally, they should always sleep in a "crib."
"The reality is on the stomach is the least safe position and the reason is, when a baby's on its back, the wind pipe is in front, it's on top, but if you have a baby stomach down, then that means the wind pipe is below the esophagus, so it's not safe if they do spit up," says Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Georgia Department of Public Health is even providing portable cribs and baby clothes that say "on your back" to remind parents.
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