October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. Each year, there are about 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2020, approximately 41% of these deaths were due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), while another 27% were due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.
Several months ago, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act went into effect, making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or distribute crib bumpers or inclined sleepers for infants. Crib bumpers are dangerous because of the risk of suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation, while sleepers that incline more than 10 degrees allow babies to fall asleep in a chin-to-chest position, which can restrict their airway.
Mary Aitken, MD, MPH, the Dan L Duncan Distinguished University Chair in Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, shares some tips to keep your baby sleeping safely, and other things to avoid.
For more information about SIDS and safe sleep, visit https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/.
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