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Stony Brook Children’s Hospital launches SIDS initiative

Stony Brook Children's Hospital Dr. Joseph DeCristafaro and

Stony Brook Children's Hospital Dr. Joseph DeCristafaro and nurse Elvira Manrigue show new mom, Ann Marie Theologitis of Lake Grove, how to wrap her 13-week-old daughter, Ava, in the Halo SleepSack. Credit: Jeanne Neville

Babies discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit at Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital will now be sent home with a special blanket designed for safe sleeping, which is supposed to lessen the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

The HALO SleepSack is a wearable, sacklike blanket that eliminates the need for loose blankets, which can cover the baby’s face and cause difficulty breathing.

“The most important component of SIDS prevention is to make sure the baby is in the crib alone—no blankets, no pillows, no toys and no bumpers, nothing to cover the baby’s head,” Susan Katz, SAFE KIDS Suffolk Coordinator and Infant Apnea Program coordinator at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, said in a press release.

“The SleepSack keeps the baby warm and comfortable, but cannot cover his face, which reduces the risk of SIDS,” she said.

The SleepSack program was started at the hospital with assistance from The Little Angel Fund Inc., a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and comfort families throughout the NICU experience.

The program continues with support from the hospital’s gift shop, which will donate one SleepSack for each one purchased at the shop, according to the release.

The hospital, which was established in June 2010, is Suffolk County’s only children's hospital.

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