Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child under the age of 1. While the cause of SIDS is unknown, the following tips can help prevent the risk of SIDS:
- Infants should be placed to sleep in a supine position (on the back). Side sleeping is not as safe as supine sleeping and is not advised.
- A firm sleep surface should be used. Soft materials such as pillows, quilts, comforters, or sheepskins should not be placed with the infant.
- Use sleep clothing, such as a one-piece sleeper or a sleep sack designed to keep the infant warm, instead of bedding that could overheat the infant or cover the baby’s head. Avoid overheating the infant’s room.
- Smoking during pregnancy is a major risk factor and should be avoided.
- A separate but proximate sleeping environment is recommended. Bed sharing with adults or other siblings should be avoided.
- Devices promoted to reduce SIDS have not been proven to reduce the incidence of SIDS. Obtain an evaluation/recommendation from a medical professional before use of such products.
- Do not use sleep-positioning devices. They have led to suffocation deaths and have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Do not use old, broken or modified cribs, bassinets, or portable cribs. Check hardware on cribs regularly to ensure they are tight and have not worked loose. Check the CPSC website for crib and other recalls .
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