Island Health has announced that it is bolstering a program intended to prevent sleep-related deaths amongst infants.
According to a press release, the health authority is expanding its baby bed program to all new families in central and north Vancouver Island. It is intended to promote safe sleep for babies and strong connections between families and caregivers. It comes thanks to $350,000 over three years from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
The program offers beds for infants consisting of heavy cardboard, mattresses, sheets and sleepwear. Baby beds are a safe place for babies to sleep, the press release said, and that is crucial as “sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of preventable death in healthy infants.” Babies lying on their sides or stomachs, sharing beds in the presence of additional risk factors, such as parents smoking, drug usage or alcohol consumption and sleeping on a soft surface are among risk factors, the press release said.
Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health, said program expansion is a good thing.
“I am excited that Island Health is expanding the baby bed program to more regions on Vancouver Island, thanks to the support of Children’s Health Foundation,” Dix said in the press release. “This program will bring support to more parents and families to help ensure that babies stay safe when sleeping and enjoy a healthy infancy.”
To register for a baby bed, visit www.islandhealth.ca/our-services/pregnancy-birth-services/baby-bed-program.