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National Certification Program recognizes Beebe Healthcare for best practices in infant safe sleep


Beebe Healthcare has been recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a “Gold Safe Sleep Champion,” the highest designation, for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant, sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. Beebe Healthcare, a Cribs for Kids® partner, also has been recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and for providing training programs for parents, staff and the community.

“Sleep-related death results in the loss of over 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®. “We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.”

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, RNC-OB, Executive Director of Women’s Health Services at Beebe Healthcare, said that in Delaware on average one infant each month dies from unsafe sleeping practices such as bed sharing.

“We know that most of these deaths are preventable,” she said. “We are committed to educating our moms, their families, their caregivers, and our entire community about safe-sleeping practices for infants.”

In 2014, Beebe was the first healthcare system in Delaware to receive the Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization and the United Children’s Fund.

Beebe has implemented its Safe Sleep program to educate moms and their families. A large component of the program is following safe sleep behaviors so that the families can observe and learn them while in the hospital. The behaviors include having babies sleep alone on their backs, in the bassinet, with nothing in the bassinet. Beebe also uses sleep sacks, and encourages parents to put the babies back in their bassinets when the parents are tired so as to avoid the parents falling asleep with the baby in bed (known as bed-sharing). Studies have found that bed-sharing is the most common cause of deaths in babies, especially three months and younger.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program supports the Maternal Child Health Bureau's vision of reducing infant mortality through the promotion of infant sleep safety as outlined in Infant Mortality CoIIN Initiative. Thirty-six states have designated SIDS/SUID/Sleep-Related Deaths (SRD) as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.
The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids In Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.

Learn more about the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Initiative.

Learn more about Women’s Health services at Beebe Healthcare.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware for residents and visitors, including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehabilitation services. 

Keep your baby safe while sleeping

The Delaware Safe Sleep Campaign focuses on four key messages to keep babies safe while they are sleeping. Those messages are:

  • Babies should ALWAYS sleep on their backs
  • Babies should ALWAYS sleep alone in a crib, “pack n play,” or bassinet. In other words, “Share the room. Don’t share the bed.”
  • There should be NOTHING in the crib with the baby except a mattress with a tightly fitted sheet. There should be no blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows.
  • Babies should always sleep in a smoke-free environment.