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RESOURCES: Preventing SIDS Infant Deaths in MN | News

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RESOURCES: Preventing SIDS Infant Deaths in MN
News

The Sleep On It campaign is underway in Dakota County.

The campaign is to remind home daycare providers to safely put infants to bed while in their care. Officials began sending a shocking postcard in the mail with a picture of a small coffin, a poster for nurseries, training sessions and an online video.

The trainings, which will likely run a couple of hours, will include information about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and presentations from child protection investigators and county attorney officials discussing the possible ramifications of using unsafe sleeping practices.

Minnesota has 10,936 licensed family child care homes, and 1,578 child care centers are in the state, according to an August 2012 report from the Department of Human Services.

Infant deaths in home child care facilities statewide dropped in 2012, state officials reported.

What is SIDS?

The sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained
following a complete postmortem evaluation, including a review of the infant and family
medical history, evaluation of the scene of death and a thorough autopsy, according to the Minnesota SIDS Center.

Minnesota Law

State law requires daycare providers to place sleeping infants on their backs, unless directed by their parents, to reduce the chances of SIDS. Sleeping areas for infants also shouldn't have pillows, blankets and toys.

The law applies to infants 12 months of age and younger.

In the past 1 1/2 years, three infants have died while being watched in the home daycare facilities in the county. The infants' deaths have been attributed to unsafe sleeping positions, according to the county.

A Health and Human Service Omnibus bill is being debated this year by Minnesota lawmakers to instill more safe sleep practices and licensing changes. They include:

  • Increasing the frequency of training for safe sleep, such as SIDS training every year, rather than every five years.
  • Abusive head trauma, formerly shaken baby, training every year, rather than every five years.
  • First aid training every two years, rather than once in a lifetime.
  • CPR training every two years, rather than every three years, and it must include child and infant demonstrations.
  • Behavior guidance and child growth and development training every year.
  • Increasing the total number of hours of training from 8 hours to 16 hours per year.
  • Stressing compliance of the “back to sleep” positioning by requiring a physician approval for any alternative sleep positioning.
  • Clarifying the safe sleep requirements regarding what can be in a crib and how to handle a child that falls asleep before being put in a crib.
  • Requiring notification to parents of whether the license holder caries insurance.
  • Clarifying that the commissioner does not need to demonstrate that a child was injured or died as the result of a safe sleep violation to justify a temporary immediate daycare license suspension.

'Sleep on It' Training Sessions

A series of free training sessions will remind home daycare providers to follow safe sleeping practices for infants. By doing so, providers will not only save lives, but protect themselves in the process.

The sessions meet the SIDS training requirement for providers, and registration is not necessary to attend. For more information, call the Social Services main line at 952-891-7400 or email childcare@co.dakota.mn.us.

Promotional materials
To receive free promotional material from the campaign, call Regan Carstensen at 651-438-4235, or email her at regan.carstensen@co.dakota.mn.us.

10 Ways to Keep Babies Safe Sleeping

Additional Resources

Video courtesy of Dakota County.

Note: Year 2012 accounts for January through August.

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