For more information, contact:
Molly Hunt - Health and Human Sciences Educator
The most recent information from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 600 babies die each year from sleep-related suffocation—that’s an average of about 2 children each day. To keep this heart-breaking number from rising, child safety advocates are working together to promote safe sleep practices for every infant.
Parents and child caregivers are encouraged to remember their ABCs when it comes to a safe sleep environment for their babies: Alone on the Back in a Crib. Injury prevention professionals point out that stores often decorate cribs and bassinets with bumper pads, blankets and stuffed animals, so parents might not know that these items are dangerous for babies. In addition, parents may want to snuggle with their babies on a couch or bed, but these are not safe places for babies to sleep.
“Parents work hard to keep their babies safe and want to keep them close,” said Molly Hunt, Health & Human Sciences Educator, a member of Delaware County Purdue Extension. “We know now that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room in a crib, bassinet or portable play area.”
The ABCs of safe sleep: Alone on the Back in a Crib.
- Share the room but not your bed.
- Keep pillows, blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals and other soft bedding materials out of your baby’s sleep area.
On the Back:
- Place your baby on her back every time she sleeps. Sleeping on her back does not increase your baby’s chances of choking.
- Sleep-positioning products such as wedges that claim to keep your baby safe are dangerous and not recommended.
In a Crib:
- Use a firm sleep surface covered by a tightly-fitting sheet, such as in a crib, bassinet or portable play area, every time your baby sleeps. Couches, chairs, and beds are too soft, can trap your baby between cushions, and are dangerous places for infants to sleep.
- If your baby falls asleep in a car seat, stroller or carrier, move your baby to her crib or bassinet to sleep.
- Make sure the crib, bassinet or play area is in good condition, meets current safety standards, and has not been recalled. Check recalls.gov to be sure that your baby products have not been recalled.
The Indiana State Department of Health, in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Child Services, has established partnerships with agencies in the State of Indiana to provide safe sleep education and Infant Survival Kits for families who do not have a safe place for their infants to sleep. As part of the program, we will provide a number of educational materials that will help caregivers learn more about safe sleep, prenatal care, and smoking cessation. Our educational messages around safe sleep focus on key risk reduction recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Institutes of Health. The Safe Sleep Program works to provide babies a safe place to sleep and hopefully lower the number deaths due to unsafe sleep environments.
Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences provides education to people of all ages in Indiana’s 92 counties. The community is our classroom – where we bring university information to the local level and help people strengthen families, spend smart, eat right, and live well.