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Infant suffocation deaths are often due to unintentional suffocation caused by bed-sharing or one or more "dangerous" objects (i.e., pillow, blankets, bumper pads, stuffed toys, swaddling, clothing or cords) in the sleep environment. These deaths are 100 percent preventable. In an effort to reverse this trend, Cook Children's, together with other area hospitals, created a safe sleep initiative to educate parents on how to create a safe sleeping environment for their infant.
When Capital for Kids heard about Cook Children's safe sleep initiative, they felt like it was a natural partnership opportunity. Capital for Kids is a network of volunteer professionals from within the investment management business dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need.
Tarrant County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Texas, exceeding the national average. Suffocation, often as the result of an unsafe sleeping environment, is the leading cause of infant mortality. Capital for Kids, aiming to have a positive effect on this serious issue, is partnering with Cook Children's on a city-wide safe infant sleep initiative.
"Capital for Kids was pleased to support the safe infant sleep initiative as it ties directly to our age demographic," Executive Director of Capital for Kids Susan Nichol explained. "It also fits well within our mission to support organizations that are helping to keep children safe. The program has been effectively implemented to provide training for families and staff, as well as easy-to-read materials to reach new parents in the community."
Support from Capital for Kids has allowed Cook Children's to provide sleep sacks, a safer alternative to swaddle blankets, and educational materials to parents of newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other areas of the medical center.
"Sleep sacks are so important in the NICU because we have a focused time to model correct sleep behavior before families go home," explained Sheralyn Hartline, director of Cook Children's NICU. "Cook Children's changed its sleep culture several years ago to be in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for ‘Back to Sleep' guidelines."
In addition to using sleep sacks with babies during their stay at Cook Children's, complimentary sleep sacks are given to patient families when they go home. Since the program began, the NICU has provided 2,000 sleep sacks to Cook Children's patient families.
Sleep sacks can be cost prohibitive for some families. Thanks to Capital for Kids, we are able to provide complimentary sleep sacks to families who might not be able to afford them. These sleep sacks reinforce the safe infant sleep environment at home, with the ultimate goal of lowering the infant mortality rate in our community.
Thanks to the support of Capital for Kids, Cook Children's believes that we can lower the infant mortality rate in Tarrant County.
Your generosity does not go unnoticed by others. It is emulated by those who realize its value to the community. It is revered by those who care for our patients because it enables them to do what they do best. And it is appreciated by every patient and every family who benefits from it.
Thank you from each family, patient, nurse, physician and staff member whose life you will have touched with your generosity.