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Penn State Health Children’s Hospital helps promote ‘safe sleep' practices in Dauphin County

The Pediatric Trauma and Injury Prevention Program at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital has long championed the cause of ‘safe sleep.' Now, the program is joining with the Dauphin County commissioners and other community partners on a long-term campaign aimed at educating parents and caregivers in the county on the safe way to put infants to bed – and lower the chance of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Since 2005, 31 infants have died from sleep-related causes in Dauphin County, including some that county officials say were tragic accidents that could have been avoided by following a few simple guidelines.

“We have known for many years about the risk factors that contribute to an unsafe sleep environment, which unfortunately can lead to healthy babies dying by suffocation,'' said Dr. Erich Batra, a pediatrician at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital.

“It is a true tragedy when we see a healthy baby die a preventable suffocation death from unsafe sleep and a parent says, ‘no one ever told me it wasn't safe for me to sleep with my baby,'” Batra said.

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