Kent student nurses, TMH looking to decrease infant mortality ra - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Kent student nurses, TMH looking to decrease infant mortality rates

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WARREN, Ohio -

A new collaboration between the Kent State University Trumbull campus' Student Nurse Association and Trumbull Memorial Hospital are looking to change the way new parents learn about safe sleep habits. 

Wednesday morning the Student Nurses Association presented the hospital with more than a dozen "safe sleep sacks". 

The idea behind the sacks is for the hospital to model good behavior, and teach brand new parents safe sleeping methods, like never using blankets to cover infants, not putting bumpers or toys in the crib, and making sure infants sleep on their backs alone in a crib. 

Marsha LaPolla, the Director of Women's Services at Trumbull Memorial, says that oftentimes new parents aren't aware of the risks to infants during sleep. 

For the last several years, Ohio has been one of the worst states in the nation for infant deaths including those related to Sudden Infants Death Syndrome (also known as SIDS) or suffocation. 

In 2015, more than 1,000 infants died in Ohio. 

LaPolla says partnerships like the one between the Student Nurses Association and TMH help to teach parents, while they are still in the hospital, what a safe sleeping environment looks like. 

By showing the parents how to use safe sleep sacks, and how an infant should be put to sleep, the hospital says they are hoping to create a safer environment for babies all over the county. 

The sacks are washable and reusable. 

Health experts suggest that any parent with a newborn know the basics of sleep safe such as no toys, no bumpers, lay infants on their back, do not use blankets, etc. 

More information on SIDS can be found here: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

For new parents struggling to afford a crib or other safe sleeping environment, there are several non-profits devoted to helping, such as Cribs For Kids. 

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