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Mile Bluff Donates to Juneau County Safe Sleep Initiative

Judy Sengstock, PHN, Child Death Review Coordinator; Dr. Angela Gatzke, Chief Medical Officer, Mile Bluff Medical Center; Katie Nuttall, Director, Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation

In Juneau County, there is a multi-agency team made up of public health partners who have been working together to review the deaths of individuals under the age of 24. The objective of the Juneau County Child Death Review Team is to identify preventable child deaths, and provide recommendations for interventions and prevention strategies. The team’s ultimate goal is to prevent future childhood deaths from occurring in Juneau County.

Recent reviews by the team, have identified that certain sleep positions and/or sleep environments tend to contribute to a higher likelihood of a sudden unexpected infant death. Barriers to safe sleep include the lack of an approved sleeping environment due to a variety of reasons including travel, displaced families, or not having money to purchase a crib.

In support safe sleep environments for infants, Mile Bluff Medical Center and Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation donated $15,000 to the Juneau County Health Department and the review team. These funds will be used to purchase portable cribs through the Cribs for Kids® Program.

The Cribs for Kids® Program will provide eligible families with a Pack ‘N Play crib, crib sheet, and sleep sack to ensure all infants have a safe sleep environment. Education will also be provided to parents and caregivers on the importance of creating safe sleep environments for their infants.

Judy Sengstock, RN, representing members of the Juneau County Child Death review team is extremely thankful for the contribution the Mile Bluff provided to the health department. “An infant’s death is a tragic event and this contribution and the strong community partnership, allows all parents and caregivers an opportunity to provide the safest place and sleep for every baby” states Sengstock.

To provide the SAFEST SLEEP the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • Babies should always be placed on their back for sleep.
  • Babies should sleep on a firm sleep surface that does not incline.
  • Remove all toys, pillows, blankets, and bumpers from the crib.
  • It’s OK to swaddle a baby but stop swaddling as soon as they start learning to roll.
  • If the baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, or infant carrier, move them as soon as you can.
  • It’s dangerous for babies to sleep on a couch, armchair or nursing pillow.
  • Try giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Breastfeed if possible and avoid smoking.

Cribs will be distributed by Child Death Review Team partners throughout the county to increase accessibility. Partners include local EMS agencies, Mile Bluff’s Obstetrics department, law enforcement agencies, Juneau County DHS, & Juneau County Health Department.