More than 30 health care providers and other professionals from the Baker County area participated in a safe sleep lunch and learn on November 16th. Healthy Baker, the Baker County Health Department and the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition hosted the event.
The even featured Dr. Bruce McIntosh, a board certified Jacksonville pediatrician with 42 years of experience. He reported that in Baker County, the infant mortality rate is approximately three times higher than the state average. About 40 percent of infant deaths in Baker County are sleeping related deaths, compared to the average of 12 percent in Northeast Florida.
Dr. McIntosh educated the group on the characteristics of a safe crib and the maternal risk factors for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) which includes the following: Young age (under 21 years old), unmarried status, low socioeconomic status, inadequate prenatal care, use of addictive drugs, and smoking during pregnancy.
Brochures and flyers were also distributed to the group to be used while educating the community on safe sleep practices. A special information sheet was also distributed.
The Lunch and Learn served to assist the Baker County Infant Mortality Task Force, an initiative of the Healthy Start Coalition and Healthy Baker, to comprehensively and compassionately encourage families to practice infant safe sleep methods. For more information, visit the Coalition’s safe sleep page.