Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death or crib death, is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year of age. SIDS usually occurs during sleep, which is probably the only time you leave your baby child unattended.
The important thing is to make sure children are sleeping where they will be safe. For this, parents and caregivers must be aware of safe sleep practices that must be followed while making a child asleep.
General Sleep Safety Tips
The safest place for your baby to sleep is on his or her back, in a crib, cradle or bassinet. International guidelines recommend room sharing for the first six months of your baby’s life.
Babies and young children should never be placed to sleep on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches, futons or armchairs. A baby can suffocate when sleeping on these unsafe surfaces.
There are reports of injuries and/or deaths related to the improper use of many products mentioned in this guide. Follow the safety tips provided to reduce the risk of injury or death related to the use of these products.
- Put your baby on his or her back to sleep, both at nap time and at bedtime.
- Your baby’s crib should be completely empty, except for the crib’s mattress and fitted sheet.
- Avoid the use of loose bedding or soft objects in your baby’s sleeping area. Products like these can be suffocation hazards and should not be placed where your baby sleeps:
? comforters, heavy blankets and quilts
? infant or adult pillows
? foam padding
? stuffed toys
? bumper pads
? sleep positioners
- Blankets can be dangerous if a baby’s head gets covered when he or she sleeps and may cause suffocation. Instead of a blanket, consider dressing your baby in light sleep clothing, like a one-piece sleeper. If a blanket is needed, infants are safest with a thin, lightweight, and breathable blanket.
- Overheating is a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If the room temperature is comfortable for you, it is also comfortable for your baby with same clothing as you are wearing.
- Keep your home completely smoke free. Cigarette smoke is harmful to babies and increases the risk of SIDS. No one should smoke near your baby.
- It is not safe for a baby to sleep for long periods of time in products such as strollers, car seats, swings, bouncers, slings or baby carriers, which keep him or her in a seated or semi-reclined position. Move your baby to a crib, cradle or bassinet for naps or overnight sleep, or once you have reached your destination.
- Cords on window blinds, shades and curtains are a strangulation hazard. Tie the cords out of your child’s reach or install a tension device for looped cords. Whether the blind is up or down, make sure your child cannot reach the cords.
- Place your baby’s sleeping area so that hazards like windows, patio doors, lamps, candles, electrical plugs, corded baby monitors, extension cords and small objects are out of your child’s reach.
- Not everyone will take the same care you do in making sure their home is safe for children. When visiting family and friends, scan your surroundings for potential hazards and supervise your children closely.
- Check regularly for recalls of children’s toys, clothing, furniture and equipment. Create Safe Places for a Baby to Sleep.