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Newborn Sleep Safety And Limiting SIDS-Related Deaths

The parent company of a large South Carolina daycare provider will pay a $16M settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit that stemmed from the death of an infant at one of its Charlotte-area facilities.

According to the allegations, employees at the facility placed the baby in a crib on his side. The baby subsequently rolled onto his stomach, where employees later found him unresponsive. The child was taken to the hospital, but died within a week.

Plaintiffs allege the well-known safe position for a baby is on its back, and in addition, a note attached to the crib clearly communicated the requirement that the baby be on his back while sleeping.

Attorneys think this is the largest settlement of an infant wrongful death case in the state's history.

Officials confirmed they notified the state's social services department and the families of all children at that location of the incident. Andrews Dys "SC day care settles York County death for $16 million. Why family said it was preventable" news.yahoo.com (Feb. 09, 2024).

 

Commentary and Checklist

 

Since 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended babies sleep on their backs after many research reports showed babies sleeping on their stomachs were at a greater risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The recommendation was confirmed in 1994, 2000, again in 2005, and persists today.

The CDC provides resources and tips for caregivers and parents for keeping sleeping infants safe:

  • "Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.

  • Use a firm, flat (not at an angle or inclined) sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.

  • Keep your baby's sleep area (for example, a crib or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep, ideally until your baby is at least 6 months old.

  • Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby's sleep area.

  • Do not cover your baby's head or allow your baby to get too hot. Signs your baby may be getting too hot include sweating or his or her chest feels hot.

Additional information about safe sleep environments can be found here. Caregivers should note that strollers, car seats, swings, newborn loungers, and other sitting devices are not recommended sleep locations, even for a short nap. If a baby falls asleep in a sitting or carrying device, move them immediately to their regular safe, sleep space.

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