Featured Video: Infant Sleep Safety Awareness

Infant Sleep Safety Awareness: SIDS Center of N.J. · National Inst. Child Health Safe To Sleep · Proper Sleep Environment · Safety-Approved Cribs
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Approximately 3500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. After an initial decrease in the 1990s, the overall death rate attributable to sleep-related infant deaths has not declined in more recent years.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the “sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, a complete autopsy, and review of the clinical history.”

Many of the risk factors for SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths are strikingly similar. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleep environment: placing babies on their backs to sleep, the use of a firm sleep surface (without pillows, blankets, toys or crib bumpers), room-sharing without bed-sharing, and the avoidance of soft bedding and overheating. Additional recommendations for SIDS reduction include breastfeeding, routine immunization, use of a pacifier, and the avoidance of exposure to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs.

For infants born between 24 and 27 weeks gestational age, the risk of a sudden unexpected infant death is over three times greater than for term infants.

Learning about SIDS and safe sleep for babies is not just for parents: grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, childcare providers, and any caregivers of babies should be educated.

Safe to Sleep®, formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign, focuses on actions you and others can take to help your baby sleep safely and to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. The death of a baby is always heartbreaking, but there are a number of ways you can lower the risk while giving your baby the best care possible.

The SIDS Center of New Jersey (SCNJ) is a program of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health in Hackensack. Its missions are providing bereavement support to those whose infants have died suddenly and unexpectedly; and ttudy causes and risk factors associated with sudden infant deaths.

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