by Mike Lee - Writer/Photographer
Norman Regional Health System nurses Patricia Brown, RN, and Tonya Faires, RN, know how the old adage goes.
Do as I say and not as I do.
But both nurses know that when it comes to the health and wellbeing of newborns, parents need all the help they can get. That’s why Brown and Faires are leading the charge at Moore Medical Center and the Healthplex, respectively, to show parents the right way to swaddle their infants.
“These are what we put the babies in now instead of loose blankets. It’s called a wearable blanket,” Faires said, pulling out a small cloth sack. “They have a T-shirt or an outfit on and we can still swaddle them but we do it under their chest.”
“This is the newest guideline recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for safe sleep. We decided that we wrap them up in all these blankets here in the hospital and we tell them to go home and use products like this but we’re not doing that so we needed to model that.”
That’s why nurses are putting babies in the new HALO SleepSacks.
HALO Founder William Schmid began researching sleeping environments after he and his wife lost a daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1991. Since 1994, he and his company have worked to develop products such as the original HALO SleepSack wearable blanket that encourage healthier and safer sleeping as well as bring peace of mind to parents.
Today, the HALO SleepSack wearable blanket is the #1 trusted choice of hospitals nationwide and a percentage of all sales are donated to First Candle/SIDS Alliance and the Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths to fund ongoing SIDS research, education and family support.
Brown said the transition has been a smooth one at Moore Medical Center and Faires says the feedback has been good.
“I’ve had very positive reports from parents,” Faires said. “I’ve heard nothing negative.
Brown said the goal was not only to teach parents the importance but also to make sure they were available.
“The second phase was to get these to where our patients can buy them for a cheap price,” Brown said. “We’ve done that and we’ve introduced them in both gift shops and they are $10 cheaper than retail. Our gift shop has already run out of its first order.”
Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have declined dramatically. But sleep-related deaths from other causes, including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia, have increased.
In an updated policy statement and technical report, the AAP expanded its guidelines on safe sleep for babies, with additional information for parents on creating a safe environment for their babies to sleep.
“We have tried to make it easier for parents and providers to understand the recommendations by providing specific answers to common questions,” said Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP SIDS task force and lead author of the new guidelines. “As a health care community, we need to do a better job translating what the research identifies as ‘best practices’ into the day-to-day practice of caring for infants in both the hospital and home environment.”
The policy statement, “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” and an accompanying technical report was released Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Boston and published in the November 2011 issue of Pediatrics. The policy statement and technical report provide global recommendations for education and safety related to SIDS risk reduction. In addition, the AAP is providing recommendations on a safe sleeping environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS. Three important additions to the recommendations include:
-Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
-Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
-Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
“It is important for health care professionals, staff in newborn nurseries and neonatal intensive care units, and child care providers to endorse the recommended ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths, starting at birth,” Dr. Moon said in a release. “There needs to be more education for health care providers and trainees on how to prevent suffocation deaths and to reduce SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths – our goal is to ultimately eliminate these deaths completely.”
Patricia Brown, RN, (left) and Tonya Faires, RN, are making sure parents know the right way to swaddle their newborns