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Infant Loss and Remembrance Day is October 15

10/10/2018

Metro Public Health Department Honors Lives Lost with Remembrance Clothesline of Onesies at Lentz Health Center Lobby

NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 10, 2018 -- Many infants in Davidson County don’t live to celebrate their 1st birthday. In their short lives, whether they lived for a few minutes or a few months, they mattered.

The Metro Public Health Department’s Fetal Infant Mortality Review Program reviews about 60 cases of fetal and infant deaths each year. Many of these deaths are due to stillbirth, extreme prematurity, and unsafe sleep environments.

We think of them October 15 with a special Remembrance Clothesline that will be strung with pink and blue onesies to symbolize the last 100 infants who died. The Remembrance Clothesline will be placed in the lobby at the Lentz Public Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Ave. The display will remain in the lobby through October 19.

There are many factors that could contribute to a poor birth outcome that results in death, including the physical and emotional health of the mother, access to healthcare, substance abuse, timely entry into prenatal care, and overcrowded housing.

One area where parents are able to make an immediate impact is providing a safe sleep environment for their infant. Babies under 12 months of age should sleep alone -- not with adults, siblings, or pets in a crib. The crib should be free of pillows, loose blankets, toys and stuffed animals.

Infants should be placed on their backs in a crib or portable Pack-N-Play every time for sleep, not in the parent’s or siblings’ bed, not on a couch or chair, and never left in a car seat or carrier. Parents and other family members, or babysitters are strongly encouraged to not smoke, let the infant get overheated with too many layers of clothing, and avoid illicit drug use, alcohol, and medications that cause extreme drowsiness when caring for an infant.

The Metro Public Health Department offers portable cribs to those with a new baby. For more information about obtaining a crib or safe sleep advice, please call the Metro Public Health Department at (615)340-0552.

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