Family BirthPlace at Jamestown Regional Medical Center received a special delivery from the state.

The North Dakota Department of Health named JRMC the first hospital to receive the gold-level distinction from the Cribs for Kids Safe Sleep program.

“We’re honored to be the first to receive this designation,” said Emily Woodley, JRMC Family BirthPlace manager. “Moms and dads, now more than ever, can count on JRMC to offer the best care for babies.”

The Cribs for Kids Safe Sleep program encourages hospitals to educate and model the safest practices for putting a baby to sleep. This includes placing baby to sleep on his or her back in a crib, rather than in a shared bed. Parents are encouraged to share a room with the child, but not a bed as rolling over on the child can be fatal, according to the NDDOH.

JRMC is a 25-bed critical access hospital in Jamestown, N.D. The hospital assists in the delivery of about 350 babies each year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborns up to 1 year of age sleep on their backs. This method provides the best protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is also known as “crib death” because most babies who die of SIDS are found in their cribs. SIDS claims the lives of about 1,500 babies in the U.S. annually. An additional 900 babies die each year due to accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed.

“All hospitals have the opportunity to align themselves to the Safe Sleep standards,” said Sarah Massey, Infant & Child Death Services Program Director. “For the sake of our littlest patients, we encourage others to get involved.”

To receive the gold-level Safe Sleep distinction, JRMC’s Family BirthPlace agreed to:

  • model safe sleep behavior in the nursey, in artwork within the department and within any published materials
  • develop and maintain a Safe Sleep policy that is consistent with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • provide HALO sleep sacks for families for the duration of their stay
  • provide Safe Sleep tools for families who do not have a safe place for their baby to sleep
  • educate staff
  • educate parents, grandparents and the public
  • participate in outreach activities

The public is welcome to get involved, Woodley said. Safe Sleep adhesives are available to post on cribs, high chairs or changing tables.

“These little stickers are great reminders to parents, grandparents and caregivers,” Woodley said. “I encourage restaurants, preschools, daycares, churches and other organizations that serve families to display them. That small gesture just might save a child’s life.”

Stickers of various sizes are available at no charge at Jamestown Regional Medical Center.