Rutland BBF Council member Margaret Dulli of the Department of HeaAll Postslth gave a presentation on Safe Sleep for infants and children. Unsafe sleep environments are responsible for four to six infant deaths in Vermont each year. This happens when a baby is unable to breathe because something covers their mouth or nose.
A safe sleep environment means ensuring there is nothing where the baby sleeps that could prevent their ability to breathe. Some of these things may be blankets, pillows, bumpers, toys, loose clothing, or even pets and other people. Babies can get also accidentally become wedged in mattresses, recliners or among couch cushions and pillows.
By being aware of safe sleep tips and guidelines — like putting your baby to sleep on their back, in a safety-approved crib — parents and everyone who cares for a baby will know the best ways to help their little ones sleep safe and sound.
The Council reviewed the How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families report, focusing mainly on the Rutland regional page. It was noted that while the number of children living in the county under age 9, and the percentage of children living in poverty both decreased, the number of children in DCF custody increased by 40%. It was also noted that children continue to face many challenges and the behaviors that they present in child care have been escalating in recent years. It was suggested that increased stress among child care providers is one reason for caregivers leaving the field.
A priority of the council has been to support professional development in the region. To meet this goal a professional development team was formed to prioritize needs and create training opportunities. A survey was created and will be distributed asking for a preference in how and where trainings happen, for example online vs. in person, during the day, evening or on the weekend. The team created a list of required trainings and suggested trainings, including how often over the course of the year, they should be offered. The results will guide the work going forward. The team will invite Rose Morrison of Northern Lights to work with them to create a schedule of offerings.