Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among children less than a year old.
Know the facts:
- 82% of accidental suffocation deaths among infants occur in bed.
- On average, each death costs 1.3 million dollars and each injury roughly $110,000.
- The majority of childhood suffocation, choking and strangulation incidents occur at home.
Here are ways to keep your baby safe as he or she sleeps at home and elsewhere.
Make Sure Your Crib Is Up-to-Date
- Check that your crib meets safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), and make sure it has all the right pieces.
- If you can fit a can of soda between the slats of a crib, that means a child’s head, hand or foot could get stuck.
- If the sides go down, don’t use the crib.
- We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
- Corner posts of the crib should not stick up more than one-sixteenth of an inch. It doesn’t seem like much, but anything more can be risky.
- Check to make sure there are no design cutouts in the headboard or footboard.
- If your crib doesn’t meet CPSC standards, don’t use it.
- If you are getting a used crib, check to see if it has been recalled at www.recalls.gov.
Position Your Child’s Crib or Bed in the Right Place
- Avoid placing a crib, bed, high chair or playpen near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with cords.
- Do not hang anything on or above a baby’s crib on a string or cord.
- Room-sharing is a safer option than having your baby sleep in bed with you. Place your baby’s crib, play yard or bassinet in your room for more convenient feeding and close contact.
- Remember to always return your baby to his or her own crib when you’re ready to go back to sleep. This is tough sometimes because parents are often more tired than the babies, but it is much safer.
- If your child has a bunk bed, check the guard rails on the top bunk. Make sure that there isn’t enough space between the guardrail and bed frame or the head and footboards that a leg or arm could get trapped.
Help Your Baby Sleep Safely
- Lay your baby on his or her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm on those cold winter nights, try using a sleepsack (wearable blanket). They’re pretty cozy.
- Babies should not sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs or baby swings. If this happens, make sure to return your baby to a safe sleep environment.
- We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. Soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
- New parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.