A campaign organized by Safe Kids Upstate New York is reminding parents some toys can be deadly when left in cribs. YNN's Sarah Blazonis tells us why leaving your child's crib bare can save their life.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The cute stuffed animals, and soft baby blankets can be tempting for your baby's crib.
"It looks so empty with just a baby in it. You feel like you need something else in there, you need it to be all decorative and cute. It's a baby," said Michelle Jeski, a clinical trainer for general pediatrics at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.
Moms and dads are being encouraged to get rid of those cute and cuddly extras as part of the Safe Sleep Awareness Campaign. It's an effort to prevent some of the 4,000 infant deaths seen in the United States every year. The majority of those deaths are sleep related.
"Babies wiggle and things tumble, and if they do that in a bad combination, the baby can end up with his little face up against a surface that doesn't allow him to breathe," said Clemencia Molina, regional coordinator for the Sudden Infant and Child Death Resource Center.
Instead, cribs should be empty except for babies. That means no pillows, no blankets, and no toys. These steps might seem to go against instinct, especially since winter is coming. However, there are other ways to make sure babies stay warm at bedtime, like Sleep Sacks.
"It can't come loose, it's a little outfit. When you have loose blankets to keep the baby warm, that blanket can easily end up wrapped around their face," said Clemencia.
Campaigns like this have a history of success. Incidence of SIDs has dropped by more than half since 1992. That is when the American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending babies be put to sleep on their backs.
"We're making baby steps forward, but there's still deficits out there and areas where we can improve," said Jeski.
That's why participants say the more New York families this program can reach, the better.