Kohl’s Infant Safe Sleep Program
Kohl’s Department Store has announced a 2012-2013 grant of $106,755 to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital to renew a safe sleeping program for infants. The program is called KISS, which stands for Kohl’s Infant Safe Sleep.
Since starting the KISS program in 2007, Kohl’s Department Store – through the Kohl’s Cares cause merchandise program – has provided USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital $385,704 in support. The funds are used to purchase educational materials for parents and other caregivers, promote infant safe sleeping habits in the community and provide free cribs to qualifying families.
The Kohl’s Cribs for Kids initiative has distributed more than 400 Pack ‘n Play portable cribs to qualifying Mobile County families. The cribs can play a key role in reducing deaths due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, and unsafe sleep. Last year, 44 infants died in Mobile County before their first birthday, a figure that has remained constant since 2008. However, only 18 percent of the deaths were sleep-related, an improvement over 23 percent from a year earlier.
“Kohl’s Cribs for Kids is making a huge impact,” Nicole Smith, RN, quality assurance director with MOM Care at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, said. “While we are encouraged by the drop in sleep-related infant deaths, our work is not done and we’re grateful for the support of Kohl’s.”
Children’s & Women’s Administrator Owen Bailey, right, receives the check from
Kohl’s General Store Manager Cecil Sheppard with support from Cassandra Odom of
the hospital’s Development Office.
USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, through MOM Care – Mobile’s Medicaid Maternity Program – provides education and training for qualifying families on proper sleep position and sleep environment for the baby. When a qualifying family completes the program, they receive a free Pack ‘n Play. The cribs are portable and can be taken wherever the baby receives care.
“The economy has created some real challenges for families, and we consider a crib to be an absolute necessity,” Smith said. “The Kohl's Cribs for Kids program provides qualifying families with the most basic of needs to help prevent an unnecessary and tragic death.”
The KISS program emphasizes education, as USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital nurses teach parents and caregivers safe sleeping habits for infants. “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is something that every parent and caregiver must be aware of, as well as safe sleep habits that reduce the risk of SIDS,” Veronica Hudson, RN, nurse manager of the Mother/Baby Unit at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, said.
More than 1,000 caregivers received training last year from Children’s & Women’s personnel through the KISS program. “Kohl’s has made this outreach possible and we really appreciate their commitment to safe sleep habits for infants,” Hudson said.
Hudson and her team share some key points about infant sleep habits, such as always placing your baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps. Other important reminders are:
- Place your baby on a firm mattress, such as in a safety approved crib
- Remove soft, fluffy bedding and stuffed toys from your baby’s crib
- Make sure your baby’s head and face remain uncovered during sleep
- Do not allow smoking around your baby
- Do not let your baby get too warm during sleep
- Talk to childcare providers, grandparents, babysitters and all caregivers about SIDS risks
- Do not allow your baby to share a bed with anyone
- Have the infant sleep in the same room as the caregiver
- Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
- Encourage “tummy time” when the infant is awake and observed by a caregiver
- Click here to download safe sleeping tips!
“By providing safe sleep education and needed support to parents and other family members, we hope that this will help families feel comfortable in caring for their newborns, have the resources they need to care for their newborns, and that the number of SIDS cases can continuously be reduced,” Hudson said. “The KISS program is a great opportunity to use the resources offered by the nurses of USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital and the support provided by Kohl's to deliver a community awareness campaign of infant safe sleep practices.”
To schedule a KISS visit, or for more information about Kohl’s Cribs for Kids, please call USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital at 415-1000.