There are approximately 3,500 sleep-related deaths among U.S. babies each year. Known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), this condition that affects babies less than 1 year of age has no obvious symptoms.
However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are many environmental factors for SIDS that parents can help control. These include sleeping surfaces, body temperature, sleep position and exposure to secondhand smoke.
There are other ways to help educate parents on ways to prevent SIDS. One specific campaign created by the AAP is the “ABCs of Sleep”:
- A: Alone — Baby should sleep alone, in their own space, at all times. Sleeping spaces must meet FDA regulations and could be a crib, bassinet, or a pack and play.
- B: Back — Babies who sleep on their backs can turn their heads and protect their airways easier than sleeping on their sides. Babies should never sleep on their stomach.
- C: Crib — Baby should sleep on a flat, firm surface.
“It has been found that nearly 70 percent of SIDS cases were related to bed-sharing or co-sleeping,” explains Dr. Blanca Fresno, a pediatrician affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. “When following these guidelines, our moms and dads significantly decrease the risk of infant sleep deaths from happening to their child.”
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, following these safety tips can help reduce your baby’s risk.
For the news media: To talk with Dr. Fresno about the ABCs of sleep, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at email@example.com.