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Safe Sleep for Babies

baby laying in crib, sleeping safely
Every year, about 50 babies in New York City die from a sleep-related injury.  That’s almost one baby every week. The good news is these deaths are preventable. Read below to learn more about sleep-related injury deaths and how to safely put your baby to sleep.

What is a Sleep-Related Injury Death?

A sleep-related injury death is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year old that occurs because of where and/or how they were placed to sleep. Sleep-related infant injury death is not the same as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or “crib death.” SIDS is the natural death of a baby that cannot be explained after a careful medical review of the case. Unlike SIDS, sleep-related infant injury deaths involve accidents that can be explained and are mostly preventable.

October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month

As part of October’s “Safe Sleep Awareness Month,” the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has kicked-off a month-long “safe sleep swap” campaign in an effort to help prevent accidental, sleep-related infant deaths. Crib bumper pads were banned by New York State just over a month ago from being sold at stores statewide because they could increase the risk of suffocation for infants. Throughout the month of October, parents and caregivers with infants are encouraged to dispose of their crib bumper pads in exchange for free safer wearable sleep sacks at the designated ACS sites below:

Manhattan - 55 W. 125th Street
Bronx - 2501 Grand Concourse, 4th FL.
Brooklyn - 1274 Bedford Ave., 1st FL.
Staten Island - 350 Saint Marks Place, 5th FL.
Queens - 92-31 Union Hall Street, 3rd Fl.

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment

Here are the most recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), issued in October 2016, for where and how to safely place your baby to sleep:

Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep.


Avoid sharing a bed with your baby.


Use a firm sleep surface with a fitted sheet made for that specific product.


Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any other items that could increase the risk of suffocation out of the baby’s sleep area.


Be sure to checkout our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

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Watch the safe sleep video in eight short chapters:

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