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Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Creating a Safe Sleep Environment

Janelle J. Valore

Safe Sleep

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the sudden, and unexplained, death of an infant younger than one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation including the performance of an autopsy, examination of the death scene and a review of the infant’s clinical history. One of the ways to reduce the risk of SIDS is to ensure a safe sleep environment for infants. You may ask “what does a safe sleep environment look like?” Many new mothers aren’t educated about SIDS and the ways to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as providing a safe sleep environment for your infant. Here are some suggestions on how to provide a safe sleep environment for your newborn:

-Make sure your baby is sleeping on a firm surface, such as a mattress in a JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Associated) certified crib, covered with a tight fitted sheet.

-Do not use pillows, blankets or crib bumpers in your baby’s sleeping area. Using these items increases the risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.

-Do not place any toys in your baby’s crib or sleeping area.

-Place your baby in a one-piece outfit to sleep. If you are afraid of your baby being cold, you can use a sleep sack to place over your child’s pajamas while sleeping.

-Place your baby on his or her back to sleep.

-Do not allow people to smoke around your baby.

-Keep the temperature of your baby’s room between 68-72 degrees.

-Allow your baby to have a pacifier.

-Run the fan in your baby’s room to allow the air to circulate to reduce poor ventilation.