A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than half of U.S. infants still sleep in unsafe conditions. Le Bonheur’s Nurse Family Partnership shares safe sleep practices, and highlights a local mobile app.
What is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)?
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation. While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, there are things families can do to reduce the risk of SIDS or other sleep-related causes of infant death. By making babies’ sleep environment safe, families and caregivers can help reduce preventable deaths. Make it a habit, practiced by everyone, every time a baby sleeps.
What are safe sleep habits?
- Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep EVERY time, at bedtime and naptime.
- Babies should always sleep in a crib with a firm mattress or other safe place, such as a bassinet or portable play area.
- The safest place for baby to sleep is in the same room as their parents or caregiver, but alone in a separate sleep area such as a crib.
- Do not use blankets or pillows; only use a tight-fitting bottom sheet.
- Do not use bumpers or have any soft items such as toys or stuffed animals in baby’s sleep area.
- Never let baby sleep on a chair, couch, waterbed, or adult bed mattress. Soft sleep surfaces and objects can increase baby’s risk for suffocation.
- Do not let baby overheat. The room temperature should be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Avoid smoking during pregnancy and do not allow anyone to smoke near your baby.
- Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Offering a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string at naptime or bedtime may reduce the risk of SIDS.
Remember to educate EVERYONE who will be caring for baby about safe sleep habits including parents, grandparents, caregivers, and all family members and friends.
The Shelby County Health Department and other community partners recently launched the Safe Sleep Campaign:
Download the FREE mobile app: Baby2Sleep
Text SAFE SLEEP to 90105 for text alerts about how to keep babies safe while sleeping.