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The ABCs of infant sleeping

Albany County highlights National Baby Safety Month, gives task force progress update

Dr. David Clark, left, and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Wednesday, Sept. 18, stand next to a sign outlining a new slogan developed by the Safe Sleep Task Force, which is “ABC” or “Alone on their Back in a Crib.”

Dr. David Clark, left, and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Wednesday, Sept. 18, stand next to a sign outlining a new slogan developed by the Safe Sleep Task Force, which is “ABC” or “Alone on their Back in a Crib.” Photo by John Purcell.

— Parents of a newborn often stay as close to their child as possible, but area medical experts and county officials are pushing parents to remember their “ABCs.”

The Albany County Safe Sleeping Task Force’s latest initiative isn’t an exercise in remembering the alphabet, but rather another outreach effort cautioning parents and caretakers to not sleep in bed with an infant. The ABC slogan stands for “Alone on their Backs in a Crib,” which is recommend as the safest way for a baby to sleep at night. New signs with the slogan and public service announcements will be added to the county’s ongoing safe sleeping campaign.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy joined Task Force members on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Albany Medical Center to recognize National Baby Safety Month and proclaim the day as Safe Sleep Day in the county. The ABC slogan was also unveiled.

“We can try to educate before (parents) leave and have their new babies,” McCoy said. “It is just important that we let people know the safe sleeping habits.”

Albany Medical Center and St. Peter’s Hospital, along with other area hospitals, are including safe sleep information with discharge papers, McCoy said. The hope is parents will be better informed about best practices.

“When you got a brand new baby, you got 50,000 things on your mind, you want to go home and show everyone your bundle of joy,” McCoy said. “Now with the weather changing and the winter months coming, more people are going to be in tune to have their babies sleep in their bed for warmth.”

Kathy Marsch, interim chief nursing officer at St. Peter’s, said while parents always have their baby’s safety in mind, they might not know some “common practices” are dangerous. Marsch said the hospital educates parents on preventing sleeping death in childbirth preparation classes.

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