Behind the scenes, there is a core group of pediatricians and staff at the American Academy of Pediatrics working to improve the health of children and the ability of pediatricians to be effective.
A couple items from this year’s Georgia board of directors meeting:
- Increasing Safe Sleep practices
- Working with legislators to improve access to health care
- Establishing strategic goals for the next few years
The emphasis on Safe Sleep follows recent AAP guidelines –see previous posts:
Right now, in Georgia, it is estimated that there are 3 infant deaths per week associated with sleep practices. In Tennessee, following widespread adoption and promotion of safe sleep practices, this resulted in a 50% reduction in these types of infant deaths within two years. In Georgia, the department of public health has been working on distributing inexpensive portable bassinets to Medicaid population, along with educational material. There is a lot more to do. In hospital nurseries infants are often NOT placed on their backs to go to sleep until shortly before discharge.
Useful website: Charlieskids.org This website has a book called “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” which incorporates updated recommendations on safe sleep practices. Interestingly, the fact that the book has a picture of a pacifier has slowed distribution of this book (even when free) because this runs counter to another program (“Baby Friendly” hospital designation) to promote breastfeeding.
Here are some of the slides from Dr. Freed’s presentation on safe sleep practices: