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We’re Offering ‘Infant Safe Sleep’ Classes

September is “Safe Sleep Month” in Michigan and LACASA Center’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Council and the Livingston County Health Department are working to raise awareness about safe sleep practices. The agencies are offering two Infant Safe Sleep Classes this fall.

Class 1: Wednesday, Sept. 27, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Class 2: Wednesday, Oct. 25, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

“There were eight sleep-related infant deaths in Livingston County between 2010 and 2015, but that number dropped to five between 2012 and 2016,” said Elaine Brown, Deputy Health Officer and Personal/Preventive Health Services Director for the Livingston County Health Department.

“It appears that the numbers of sleep-related infant deaths in Livingston County are going down, so we are encouraged in our education efforts,” said Holly Naylor, CAP Council coordinator. “However, sleep-related infant deaths still happen in Michigan and in Livingston County, so we want to make sure that all new parents know the recommendations for the safest sleep environment for their baby.    

“The safest sleep environment is when infants are put to sleep alone, on their back, and in their own crib or bassinet,” Naylor said. “For at least the first six months, babies should sleep in their parents’ room, but always on their back and alone in their own separate sleeping environment, which should contain only a firm mattress and fitted sheet—no blankets, toys, or crib bumpers.”

Safe Sleep Classes

The CAP Council is offering a class to educate parents about the details of safe sleep and how to safely cope with infant crying on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. 

If caregivers are unable to attend the September class, another will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

All attendees will receive a Safe Baby Gift Set that includes a sleep sack, board book, pacifier, and diapers.

Classes are held at the Livingston County Health Department, 2300 E Grand River Ave., Suite 102, Howell, MI 48843

Preregistration is required. Reserve your space by contacting Holly Naylor at 517-548-1350 or email her at

Safe sleep displays also are up at libraries around Livingston County, and information always is available if you contact the CAP Council.

ABCs of Safe Sleep

“Sleep-related infant death is a leading cause of death among infants less than one year old in Michigan. While there are a variety of factors that impact a caregiver’s daily choices regarding the child’s sleep environment, it is important that they know that sleep-related deaths are 100 percent preventable, and it is up to all of us to continue to work to decrease the number of sleep-related infant deaths in Livingston County,” said Brown.

Brown reminds parents to “Always follow the A-B-Cs: put baby to sleep alone, on his/her back, in an empty crib,” said Brown. “It’s also important to stress using the A-B-Cs to any relatives, friends, or babysitters caring for your child.”

Safe sleep steps recommended by the Health Department can be found on the Michigan Department of Human Services website and include the following:

  • Baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib or bassinet
  • Always put baby on its back to sleep, even when he/she can roll over
  • No pillows, blankets, comforters, stuffed animals, or other soft things (including bumper pads) should be in the sleep area
  • Keep baby’s face uncovered during sleep for easy breathing
  • Use a sleeper (or sleep sack) instead of a blanket
  • Don’t allow anyone to smoke around the baby
  • Don’t overheat the baby; dress the baby in as much or as little clothing as you are wearing
  • Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet
  • Place baby in the same sleep position every time

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about one in five deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome occur while an infant is in the care of someone other than a parent. For that reason, parents are urged not only to engage in safe sleep practices at home, but to share that information with everyone who cares for their baby.

In addition, it’s important for parents to understand how dangerous other sleeping situations can be. The Department of Human Services offers these warnings:

  • Babies are NOT safe sleeping on a couch, pillow or anything soft
  • Babies are NOT safe sleeping with other children, adults or pets
  • Babies are NOT safe sleeping in adult beds; if you feed your baby in bed, put your baby back into his/her crib to sleep

For more information about safe sleep for infants, contact LACASA’s CAP Council at 517-548-1350, or the Livingston County Health Department at 517-546-9850.

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