Local organizations join to host community baby shower, teach safe sleep

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The Wichita Black Nurses Association and KIDS Network are teaming up to provide baby supplies and health education to local mothers. 

The groups will host a community baby shower on Saturday to give out cribs and wearable blankets to soon-to-be moms. 

The association will educate women on safe sleep, working to reduce the number of babies who die each year from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. SUID is the third leading cause of infant mortality in Kansas. 

Suffocation plays a role in many SUID cases. Leaders at KIDS Network say this is due to unsafe sleep habits including loose blankets and stuffed animals placed in the crib with a sleeping infant. 

"We often think "it'll never happen to me", and I have a lot of parents unfortunately that thought it would never happen to them," said Schunn, "There are many things that we can do to reduce the risk and prevent these sleep-related deaths." 

Christy Schunn, executive director at KIDS, says babies should sleep alone, on their back, in a clutter-free crib.

"Because of research and because of what we've learned over the past 20 or 30 years, we know that alone, on the back, in the crib is much safer than the way we did it in the 60s, 70' or 80'," said Schunn. 

Research also shows babies from lower income or minority families are more likely to die as an infant.

All pregnant women and their support system are welcome to attend. The shower is free, and supplies will be given out based on availability. No pre-registration is required. 

Other topics that will be discussed at the event include breast feeding and stopping the use of tobacco. Similar events are held state-wide. Check with your health department to find out when the next baby shower will be held in your area. 

Leaders from local hospitals and other groups with resources will have booths at the event. 

If you'd like to make a donation to help KIDS Network purchase cribs, you can visit kidsks.org.