From the Florida Department of Children and Families
October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month, and the Florida Department of Children and Families and Prevent Child Abuse Florida are reminding everyone about the importance of placing babies in a safe sleep environment while they are in your care.
Babies sleep safest when they are alone, on their backs, in a crib in the parents’ room for the first year of life.
Did you know?
- Suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed is the leading cause of injury-related death for Florida infants under age 1.
- Infant deaths due to unsafe sleep environments are completely preventable.
You can help keep your baby safe during sleep using the following the ABC’s of Safe Sleep:
Ensure babies are alone in their sleep area.
Keep soft bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.This means no pillows, blankets, bumpers, toys, or other soft objects are around.
Also be sure to check for cords or other potential strangulation hazards around the sleeping area.
Sharing a room with your baby is much safer than bed sharing and may decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%. Do not smoke in the room where the baby sleeps.
Placing infants on their backs to sleep has been proven to reduce SIDS. Babies should always be placed on their backs when you put them down for a nap.
Babies’ anatomy and gag reflex will prevent them from choking while sleeping on their backs. Babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs are at an increased risk of SIDS.
Offer a pacifier. Pacifier use has been linked to a decreased risk of SIDS. For breastfed infants, delay pacifier introduction until 1 month of age to ensure breastfeeding is firmly established.
Always place infants to sleep in a crib, portable crib, bassinet, or other safety-approved sleep surface. The mattress should be firm, and the sheet should fit snugly.
Additionally, do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot. Dress your baby in no more than one layer more than you would wear. If you are concerned your baby will get cold, use a wearable blanket.
Studies have shown that the risk for infant death by suffocation is up to 40 times greater when placed in an adult bed than in a crib. Even if the bed is empty, an adult mattress poses a risk for babies.