Photo Courtesy of ACS
Every year about 40 or more babies across the five boroughs die from suffocation and other preventable sleep-related injuries.
By Forum Staff
There is serious danger associated with babies less than a year-old sleeping with parents in adult beds, or sleeping with blankets or quilts, which can create a risk of suffocation, the City Administration for Children’s Services reminded parents and caregivers Tuesday.
To keep babies warm and safe, parents and caregivers are urged to dress babies in an extra layer of infant clothing or in a wearable blanket, such as a sleep sack, officials said.
Parents should also remember the following five things during the winter weather:
- 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.
- Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any other items that could increase the risk of suffocation out of the baby’s sleep area.
- 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.
- Place babies on their backs to sleep. Babies breathe better on their backs than on their stomachs or sides.
- Put babies to sleep on a flat, firm sleep surface with a fitted sheet made for that specific product. Though it might seem more comfortable to put a pillow on top of the mattress, babies may suffocate on the soft surface.
Every year about 40 or more babies across the five boroughs die 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. Sleep-related infant injury death is not the same as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or “crib death.” SIDS is the natural death of a baby that cannot be explained after a careful medical review of the case. Unlike SIDS, sleep-related infant injury deaths involve accidents that can be explained and are mostly preventable.
ACS’s cold weather reminder is part of an ongoing effort to help parents prevent accidents and injuries to their children. In 2021, ACS created a brand-new office, The Office of Child Safety and Injury Prevention, which supports ongoing child safety campaigns, including those related to unsafe sleep practices, hot car tragedies, window guards, unsafe storage of prescription medications and, most recently, accidental ingestion of marijuana edibles.
“With freezing weather upon us, we are eager to help those caring for infants know the best way to put their babies to sleep in a way that will keep them both safe and warm,” said new ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “Out of the best of intentions to keep our beloved little ones warm, we can accidentally put them in danger. We’re reminding parents and caregivers that infants should sleep alone, on their backs, and in their own cribs free of blankets or other items.”