Community Medical Center gets gold certification for safe sleep


MISSOULA, Mont. - Health experts report about 17 Montana infants under age 1 die each year due to sleep-related issues.

In an effort to reduce those numbers Community Medical Center implemented new procedures and patient education regarding safe sleep. Monday they received the gold certification for safe sleep because of their efforts.

During the ceremony CMC neonatal intensive care unit director Dr. Bonnie Stephens said the correct approach can be summarized by "ABC."

· A stands for alone -- babies should be placed in bed without toys, blankets, bumpers, etc.

· B is for back -- babies should be placed on their back in the crib.

· C stands for crib -- babies should sleep in a crib that has a flat surface.

Letting babies sleep alone is one of the most import ways to prevent sudden infant death.

"Bed sharing is one of the major risks in SIDS, and (it's) one thing that we are really trying to educate parents on, and families, just so that they know the risk," NICU nurse Olivia Jagelski said.

Experts say nationally about 4,200 babies die every year in the U.S. due to sleep-related problems. Studies show 90 percent of those tragedies are preventable if parents are educated.