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Donated materials promote safe sleep for newborns

Two area organizations are working with River Falls Area Hospital birth center staff to provide information and materials to improve safety for infants.

Through a joint project, the Pierce County Citizen Review Panel and the Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley obtained infant sleep sacks, shaken baby syndrome DVDs and printed materials to distribute to the parents of newborns.

The review panel--one of five in Wisconsin going over cases of child fatalities and near fatalities and offer input to local child protection workers--learned there's a trend of very, very young babies being abused, said Betsy Byker.

Byker, who works for Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley and serves on the panel, said major problems are co-sleeping, the practice of allowing infants to sleep with one or both parents and crib deaths.

The panel, which gets a small amount of money from the state, decided to use some of those funds to buy the shaken-baby DVDs, sleep sacks and printed materials offering "safe sleep" and cope-with-crying tips.

For more please read the Jan. 23 print version of the Herald.