ACS Urges Families to Practice ‘Safe Sleep’ Tips

ACS Urges Families to Practice ‘Safe Sleep’ Tips

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia/Carin Araujo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report finding unsafe bedding as the leading cause of sudden unexpected infant death.

By Forum Staff

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s release of a new report finding unsafe bedding as the leading cause of sudden unexpected infant death, the NYC Administration for Children’s Services recently urged families to avoid bringing babies into bed with them and to make sure cribs are free of soft bedding.

The report, titled “Explaining Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths 2011 to 2017,” found that 72 percent of SUID were associated with soft bedding, like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals, which can lead to accidental suffocation among babies.

ACS reminds parents and caregivers to always practice the ABCs of safe sleep. Infants should sleep Alone (in a crib free of loose bedding), on their Backs, and in a safety-approved Crib (not in an adult bed).

“The CDC’s new report should be a wakeup call for parents and caregivers across the country, including right here in New York City. Soft and loose bedding like pillows, blankets and even stuffed animals can be dangerous items to place in an infant’s sleep environment because they can lead to accidental suffocation, as the CDC’s report suggests. As always, ACS reminds families to practice the ABC’s of sleep: infants should sleep Alone in a crib free of blankets and other items, on their Backs and in a safety-approved Crib,” said ACS Commissioner David Hansell.

Tragically, in New York City, 40 or more babies die each year (almost one baby each week) from suffocation and other preventable sleep-related injuries. 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.

ACS is reminding parents to do the following five things when putting their baby to sleep:

  1. Avoid bringing the baby into bed with you, even if you think it will keep the baby warmer. A baby must never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair with anyone. Babies may suffocate if another person accidently rolls on top of them or covers their nose and mouth.
  2. Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any other items that could increase the risk of suffocation out of the baby’s sleep area.
  3. When worried about a baby getting cold, dress them in a wearable blanket, such as a sleep sack, or in another layer of infant clothing.
  4. Place babies on their backs to sleep. Babies breathe better on their backs than on their stomachs or sides.
  5. Put babies to sleep on a flat, firm sleep surface with a fitted sheet made for a crib or playpen. Though it might seem more comfortable to put a pillow on top of the mattress, babies may suffocate on the soft surface.

For more information on infant safe sleep best practices or resources in your community, visit: or call 311 and ask for Safe Sleep.


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