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Mobile, Ala. (October 2, 2009)
Contact: Bob Lowry, (251) 415-1358

USA CHILDREN'S & WOMEN'S HOSPITAL AND KOHL'S DEPARTMENT STORES EXPAND "KISS" PROGRAM TO INCLUDE FREE CRIBS

 
From right, USA Children's & Women's Hospital Assistant Administrator Carol Druckenmiller, Kohl's Department Store General Manager Patrick Poeschle and Kohl's Visual Specialist Ellen Capps recognize Kohl's $50,973 grant to the hospital to support the Kohl's Infant Safe Sleep, or KISS, program.
 
From right, USA Children's & Women's Hospital Assistant Administrator Carol Druckenmiller, Kohl's Department Store General Manager Patrick Poeschle and Kohl's Visual Specialist Ellen Capps recognize Kohl's $50,973 grant to the hospital to support the Kohl's Infant Safe Sleep, or KISS, program.
 

MOBILE - Launched two years ago with the acronym KISS - for Kohl's Infant Safe Sleep - University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital and Kohl's Department Stores are embarking on their most ambitious program yet to help babies sleep safely.

Thanks to a $50,973 education grant from Kohl's, KISS this year includes "Cribs for Kids," providing qualifying Mobile County families free Pack 'n Play cribs to help reduce deaths due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and unsafe sleep.

"If your baby is not sleeping alone in a crib, you may be endangering your baby's life," Nicole Smith, quality assurance director with MOM Care at USA Children's & Women's Hospital, said. "It's dangerous for a baby to sleep with an adult, sibling, on a couch or other unsafe sleep environment."

USA Children's & Women's Hospital, through MOM Care - Mobile's Medicaid Maternity Program - and with support from Kohl's, provides education and training for qualifying families on proper sleep position and sleep environment for the baby. When a qualifying family completes the program, they receive a free Pack 'n Play. The cribs are portable and can be taken wherever the baby receives care.

"Hoping to prevent tragedies is what the KISS and Cribs for Kids programs are all about," Smith said. While the infant death rate in Mobile County has dropped to its lowest points in seven years, the number of sleep-related infant deaths increased last year.

"We are continuously teaching parents in the hospital and the community about SIDS and safe sleep habits," Veronica Hudson, nurse manager of the Mother/Baby Unit at USA Children's & Women's Hospital, said. Of the infant deaths in Mobile County last year, 37 percent were sleep related.

"By providing safe sleep education and needed support to parents, we hope that parents will feel comfortable in caring for their newborns, have the resources they need to care for their newborns, and that the number of SIDS cases can be greatly reduced," Hudson said. "We really appreciate Kohl's giving us the support to teach caregivers the importance of positioning and the sleep environment for infants."

Hudson and her team will be sharing some key points about infant sleep habits, such as always placing your baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps. Other important reminders are:

  • Place your baby on a firm mattress, such as in a safety approved crib
  • Remove soft, fluffy bedding and stuffed toys from your baby's crib
  • Make sure your baby's head and face remain uncovered during sleep
  • Do not allow smoking around your baby
  • Do not let your baby get too warm during sleep
  • Talk to childcare providers, grandparents, babysitters and all caregivers about SIDS risks
  • Do not allow your baby to share a bed with anyone
  • Have the infant sleep in the same room as the caregiver
  • Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
  • Encourage "tummy time" when the infant is awake and observed by a caregiver
"We are targeting many age groups in our community with educational programs in childcares, churches, schools and any organizations who care for infants 1 year old or younger," Hudson said. "The KISS program is a great opportunity to use the resources offered by the nurses of USA Children's & Women's Hospital and the support provided by Kohl's to deliver a community awareness campaign of infant safe sleep practices."

For more information about Cribs for Kids, or to schedule a KISS visit, please call USA Children's & Women's Hospital at 415-1000.

University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital, Mobile's leader in delivering babies, is among less than ten freestanding hospitals in the country dedicated specifically to the health care needs of children and women, offering Mobile's only neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, pediatric oncology outpatient center and high-risk obstetrical care. For more information, please visit www.southalabama.edu/usacwh.

 

 

 
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University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 460-6101
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Date last changed: October 5, 2009 10:07 AM
http://www.southalabama.edu/healthsystem/pressreleases/2009pr/100209.html