Halo Innovations is a company that proudly refers to themselves as “the safe sleep experts.” They are best known for the SleepSack line of wearable blankets and–more recently–for the innovative Bassinest Swivel Sleeper which allows you to close sleep with baby — as close as in bed with you (but baby is always in his own safe sleep space.) HALO is also very active in safe sleep education for parents and works with over 1400 hospitals to provide materials for the nursing staff to demonstrate safe sleep on newborns. This is a highly effective way to teach safe sleep since research shows us repeatedly that we learn much better through observation and imitation. Recently founder Bill Schmid spoke to the Examiner about his experiences working with this company and his hopes for its future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): When was the company started and why was that specific name chosen?
Bill Schmid (B.S.): HALO Innovations was founded following a tragedy my wife, Cathy, and I suffered. In 1991, our baby daughter, Haley, passed away at eight weeks of age from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) at a time when very little was known about the condition. As a result of our loss, I began an exhaustive review of the latest medical research on SIDS. Based on this information and input from leading SIDS researchers, I stared Halo Innovations in 1994 with the mission to reduce the number of infant deaths due to SIDS. The company name is an offshoot of our daughter’s name and the guardian angel she’s been to us.
M.M.: Right now how many products does HALO offer?
B.S.: The HALO family of products falls into a few major product categories. HALO is best known for our HALO SleepSack wearable blanket which replaces loose blankets in the crib while keeping baby warm and comfortable. The HALO SleepSack Swadddle incorporates the same roomy design with the addition of a swaddle feature that adjusts to your baby’s size and sleep style, and our new HALO SwaddleSure Adjustable Swaddling Pouch offers another foolproof way to swaddle baby with a three point patented system that resists breakouts for secure swaddling. The recently introduced HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper has truly revolutionized close, safe sleeping near your baby, which is recommended in the early months. The HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper is the only infant bassinet that moves to bring baby to you, but baby is always in his own safe sleep space.
M.M.: How do you think up ideas for your products? For example do you ever work with inventors?
B.S.: All Halo products remain true to our mission to provide safe sleep education for parents and safe, convenient sleep solutions for baby. Many of our products are developed as a result of research while others address a problem that exists. For example the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper was developed as a safe way to close sleep with baby and to discourage bed sharing, which research has shown can contribute to accidental suffocation for babies under four months of age. We have, on occasion, worked with concepts from outside the company proposed by consumers and others in the medical community.
M.M.: To date what has been the most rewarding part of working at HALO?
B.S.: Without a doubt it’s our Safer Way to Sleep Initiative which has been adopted by more than 1400 hospitals in the United States and Canada. The program provides hospital nurseries and NICUs an opportunity to educate parents about safe sleep environments by modeling safe sleep to parents, in part, through the use of a wearable blanket on their own baby and providing it as a gift to parents. Additionally, this program provides free educational resources and tools for Child Birth Educators to promote safe sleep practices in their curriculum.
M.M.: Where do you see HALO in ten years?
B.S.: It is our dream to reach a point in time when babies no longer die from SIDS and SUID (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death.) Until that time, we will continue to develop products to provide safe sleep for baby and to continue with our safe sleep education programs.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
B.S.: In addition to continuing to develop products that promote safe sleep for baby, HALO is also furthering its work with birthing hospitals to enhance the safe sleep education experience for new parents and to make the transition to practicing safe sleep at home as easy as possible.
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To learn more about Halo Innovations visit their official website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.