New law aims to make sure parents are informed - WNEM TV 5

New law aims to make sure parents are informed

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Being a new parent can be an overwhelming experience and what you think would be an easy task, like putting your baby to bed, is actually dangerous.  

That's why a new law is looking to make sure parents are well informed before walking out the hospital doors.

Heidi Churchfield can't bear the thought of a parent losing a newborn child to something she says is completely preventable with an ounce of education. Churchfield has the heart-wrenching job of reviewing infant deaths in Mid-Michigan due to unsafe sleeping.

Unsafe sleeping is now the leading cause of death in babies one month to one year old in the United States. But Michigan lawmakers want to stop it. Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday, requiring hospitals and health professionals provide parents educational materials regarding infant sleep practices and the risks of unsafe sleep environments.

"We are still seeing what we are calling accidental suffocation with babies being put in unsafe sleep environments," says Churchfield. "So easily, the baby could move and a blanket could completely cover his head."

Covenant Hospital in Saginaw is already providing these services, offering free classes for expecting or current parents and demonstrations to show the safest way to put a baby to bed.

Churchfield says parents need to take what they learn at the class and share it with their loved ones who may care for their child.

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