Sleep Sack Fights Against Infant Death

By Kim Fischer
|  Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011  |  Updated 4:58 PM CDT
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New moms have one less thing to worry about at a North Texas hospital thanks to a new program designed to allow infants to sleep more safely.

Kim Fischer, NBCDFW.com

New moms have one less thing to worry about at a North Texas hospital thanks to a new program designed to allow infants to sleep more safely.

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New moms have one less thing to worry about at a North Texas hospital thanks to a new program designed to allow infants to sleep more safely.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital's Sleep Safe encourages the use of a sleep sack, much like a sleeping bag, instead of traditional swaddling.  With the child secure and sleeping on their back, they are less at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, SIDS kills about 2,500 babies a year.  While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, cases of SIDS dropped 53 percent nationwide when doctors began suggesting babies sleep on their backs.

“SIDS is the number one cause of death in kids under 12 months of age, so they found that back sleeping is the number one thing parents can do to help prevent SIDS,” said Dr. Ryan McElroy.

To help promote that, the hospital began teaching parents to swaddle their babies. But the process of folding the blanket properly can be difficult. That’s why the hospital began carrying the Halo SleepSack.

“They came up with these sleep sacks awhile back and what they are, are these wearable blankets. They zip up in the front and the baby sleeps in this almost like a sleeping bag,” McElroy said.

The sleep sack is lightweight, so they keep the baby from overheating. Lauren Davis, a new mom, said they’re a lot easier than the old way of swaddling.

“I think it’s great and of course anything that can make them safer is great too,” Davis said.

The Halo SleepSacks are also available locally at Target, Babies R Us and JCPenney. For more information on the sleep safe program visit Texas Health's website.

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