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Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ill-defined deaths, and accidental suffocation and strangulation.  In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for creating a safe sleep environment.  Below, is an abbreviated list and circumstances that increase the risks of SIDS.

AAP recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment include:

  • Place the baby on his or her back on a firm mattress or safety-approved crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys. The crib should be bare.
  • Room-sharing decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent. Share a bedroom with parents, but not the same sleeping surface, preferably until the baby turns one but at least for the first six months.
  • Infants who are brought into the bed for comfort or feeding should be returned to their crib or bassinet when the parent is ready to go to sleep
  • Sitting devices, such as car seats, strollers, swings infant carriers, and infant slings are nor recommended for sleeping, particularly for young infants.
  • Avoid baby’s exposure to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • Have skin to skin contact with your baby for at least one hour after birth
  • Supervise your child during awake-only tummy time.  Tummy time helps a baby develop muscle control and avoid
  • Couches and armchairs are very dangerous places for infants.
  • The safest place for an infant to sleep is on a separate sleep surface designed for infants – placed close to the parent’s bed

Circumstances that have been shown to increase the risks of SIDS;

  • Parents or caregivers that smoke.
  • Smoking by mother during pregnancy
  • Preterm infants or low birth weight.
  • Bed sharing of soft surfaces – waterbeds, sofas, or
  • Additional individuals are sharing a bed.
  • Parents have consumed alcohol or sedating drugs.
  • The infant is sharing a bed with someone who is not a parent.

To review the report and complete guidelines, click the following link: