Child Protection Council to host county baby shower


WEST BRANCH — To raise awareness about safe sleeping, all Ogemaw County residents with infants younger than 6 months old and expecting parents are invited to attend a countywide baby shower with door prizes at the Ogemaw Hills Free Methodist Church Friday, Sept. 7.

Those who attend will receive free sleep sacks, diaper bags with blankets, pack and plays and more.

Ogemaw County Prosecutor LaDonna Schultz said the annual event has been going on for more than 10 years. Schultz said she is also part of the Ogemaw County Child Death Review Team, which reviews all deaths of children younger than 18 in the county.

“As a result of those periodic reviews, we’ve noticed trends and what is killing our kids,” Schultz said. “And for kids under the age of 1, the number one cause of death is unsafe sleep practices. We usually lose one or two (infants) a year as a result, and it’s just so preventable.”

She said costs are covered through donations, a $750 Walmart grant and $1,700 from the Ogemaw County Child Protection Council, and through in-kind donations, such as blankets and diaper bags from the Rifle River Quilt Guild and car seats from the Michigan State Police.

Crime Victim Advocate Jessica Burgher said the event was previously held at the First Methodist Church in West Branch, but will now be at the Free Methodist Church since the event outgrew the other space.

Schultz said there are usually 40 infants and more than 100 people.

She said other organizations come, such as the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency and Ogemaw County EMS, and set up information booths with raffle prizes.

Schultz said even though new parents are supposed to receive information about safe sleep, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce the topic since mothers are often hormonal after giving birth and are given a lot of information about several things at once.

“It doesn’t hurt to have them hear it one more time,” she said. “Because, like we said before, these kinds of deaths are easily preventable.”

“They’re the worst,” Burgher said. “And I think that’s why they are the worst. Because you think, ‘Oh, if that were me,’ anybody could do it.”

Schultz said people could bring their child to bed with them 20 times and nothing could happen, but it only takes one time for the worst-case scenario to happen.

“Obviously we want moms to come,” she said. “We want them to have a good time. You know, we want them to take advantage of the giveaways, but the whole point is to reinforce safe sleep and prevent these deaths from occurring in Ogemaw County.”

Schultz said mothers, fathers and other caregivers are welcome.

An approximately 15-minute video about safe sleep will also be played, Schultz said.

There will also be cake and punch. The event is set to run from 2-3 p.m., and the address is 3480 W. Houghton Ave.

To RSVP or learn more, call 989-345-6222.


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