Thousands of infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. We often refer to these deaths as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although the causes of death in many of these children can’t be explained, most occur while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.
Important facts about sleep–related infant deaths in New York City:
Between 2004 and 2011, the majority of infant injury deaths were sleep-related.
Infants between 28 days and 4 months old, black non-Hispanic infants, babies born pre-term, and babies born to adolescent mothers were at a higher risk for sleep-related death than other infants.
While the rate of SIDS cases has gone down in the last decade, the number of infant deaths from a sleep-related injury has not changed in the past several years – every year an average of 48 infants die from a preventable sleep-related injury.
Follow these guidelines to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby:
Always place your baby to sleep on her back.
Your baby should sleep in a safety-approved crib near your bed. Sleeping in the same room as your baby (room–sharing) is recommended, but sleeping on the same surface as your baby (bed-sharing) is not recommended.
Breastfeeding mothers should place their baby back into their crib before going to sleep.
Only your baby should be in the crib (no pillows, blankets, bumpers or other soft objects). It is surprisingly easy for an infant to suffocate if its mouth or nose is covered.
Cribs should have a firm mattress with a fitted sheet only.