Floyd Medical Center has been named a Georgia Safe to Sleep Hospital by the Georgia Department of Public Health, highlighting the hospital's continued commitment to infant safety.
Georgia has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Every week, three infants in Georgia die due to sleep-related causes, many of which are preventable.
"By utilizing safe sleep practices, we have an incredible opportunity to help new parents learn how to protect and care for their baby when they return home," explained Director of the Family Birth Center Kellie Pearson. "It's been shown that observing hospital staff utilizing these safe techniques reinforces the same behavior in the parents."
In 2016, Floyd signed a pledge of intent to participate in the Georgia Department of Public Health's Safe to Sleep initiative.
"What's most troubling about statewide statistics related to infant mortality is that so many of these tragedies could have been prevented with proper education," Pearson added. "At Floyd, we are committed to becoming a leader in the effort to protect infants and reduce the number of preventable deaths."
The Safe to Sleep designation indicates that Floyd staff have educated co-workers and parents, implemented a safe infant sleep policy, modeled safe sleep while babies are in the hospital and distributed educational support materials. It also signifies Floyd has completed a crib audit to measure compliance with safe sleep recommendations:
Alone - Babies should sleep alone in their own space, close to, but separate from their caregiver.
Back - Babies should be placed on their back every time they go to sleep.
Crib - Babies should sleep in a crib or bassinet with a firm, flat surface with no extra things such as crib bumpers, blankets or toys.