Homestead Hospital providing free sleep sacks for newborns

Doctor hopes sleep sacks will cut down on sleep-related deaths for infants

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A doctor at Homestead Hospital is doing something to help families keep their newborns safe.

Homestead Hospital, which delivers an average of 1,400 babies a year, is the first in South Florida to give away sleep sacks to new babies and their families.

Dr. Darren Salinger is funding the initiative. He said a sleep sack is the best way to keep newborns safe.

Doctors determined most infant deaths occur between 2 and 4 months old.

Eight babies brought to Homestead Hospital in 2018 died from sleep-related deaths. That's a number that doesn't sit well with hospital staff.

"It's about as traumatic a problem as I've ever seen," Salinger said.

Local 10 News was there as Shantel Gibson became the first mother to receive a sleep sack for her newborn son, Kevin. 

Gibson has seen first-hand how sudden infant death syndrome can impact families and said she was honored to be the first to receive a free sleep sack.

Homestead Hospital wants to make sure all parents of newborns go home with one.