VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - One South Georgia hospital is educating mothers on the importance of babies sleeping correctly. Starting today, every infant will leave South Georgia Medical Center wearing a gown labeled 'This side up.'
Hospital officials say it's a simple reminder to help parents with one of Lowndes County's biggest problems.
"Placed in swings or car seats to sleep, maybe carriers to sleep, instead of safely being placed in their bed on their back," explains SGMC associate inpatient unit director Cathy Swilley about infant sleeping habits.
Improper sleeping habits that land many infants in the emergency room each week.
"It can happen in the blink of an eye, especially for first time parents," explains Swilley.
It's a problem Lowndes County sees a lot of.
"Lowndes County is the highest in the state of Georgia for infant mortality," says Swilley, "So we want to do our part in bringing that down." .
Doing their part by helping to inform parents on safe sleeping habits. SGMC delivers about 2,000 babies a year, and now each one of them will leave with a gown and book intended to remind parents how infants should be sleeping.
"It's very easy to prevent you just have to follow these simple guidelines," urges Swilley
Guidelines like letting babies sleep alone, taking toys out of their cribs, and making sure they're on their backs when they sleep.
"A lot of the time parents don't know they have a lot of extra blankets in the bed and a lot of toys especially,"explains Swilley. .
Now nurses are striving to inform parents from the very beginning.
"From admission until discharge," says Swilley, "We're starting when we first take a baby down the hall to a momma, we're doing education."