Despite the existence of compelling research and statistics about the importance of safe sleep in reducing our nation’s high rate of infant mortality, the number of babies who die in adult beds and other unsafe sleep environments is on the rise. In fact, of the more than 4,500 sudden, unexpected infant deaths each year, statistics show that as many as 80-90 percent are the result of unsafe sleep practices. These are preventable deaths. If you knew that your baby’s risk to die was up to 40 times greater while sleeping in an adult bed, rather than a safe crib, where would you place your baby to sleep? By developing and implementing more effective safe sleep education campaigns, First Candle is confident we can significantly reduce the number of sudden, unexpected infant deaths in the United States. To reach this goal, we must:
- Ensure that every parent is aware of, and prepared to adopt, lifesaving safe sleep practices before leaving the hospital.
- Ensure that every baby has access to a safe crib, especially if the family can’t afford one.
The information below will help you understand the importance of safe sleep practices in protecting your baby from SIDS, suffocation and accidents during sleep. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
Creating a Safe Sleep Zone
By creating a safe sleep zone for your baby every time he or she is placed down to sleep, you will be providing your baby the best possible chance to survive and thrive.
- Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
- Use a wearable blanket or other type sleeper, instead of blankets, to keep your baby warm and safe during sleep.
- Crib bumpers, wedges and positioners should never be used in your baby’s sleep area.
- Do not place any other items in the crib.
- Always place your baby on his or her back for sleep.
- Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep when visiting or traveling.