Knox County Tennessee


Research has shown that even with reflux, it's actually safer for the baby to sleep on their back due to the position of their airway. Click here to view the data from the American Academy of Pediatrics on this subject.

There is potential for a baby’s head to became trapped between the bumper pad and the mattress, causing suffocation. In addition, if the bumper becomes loose, it can be a choking hazard.

Weighted swaddles may not be safe, due to the weight of the fabric, which may prevent the baby from being able to turn properly. While there isn’t clear evidence that weighted swaddles and blankets are unsafe, there also isn’t proof that they’re definitely safe for babies, who are still vulnerable and developing.

We recommend taking steps to prevent falling asleep with your baby to better reduce the risk of falling asleep with your baby, however if you do end up falling asleep, as soon as you wake up, place the baby in their safe sleep environment you have set up, including a crib or pack n' play.

We recommend placing your child in their crib or pack n' play as soon as they fall asleep, thus reducing the risk of you also falling asleep while holding them. In addition, moving locations, while holding the baby, out of your comfortable bed to a chair near the baby's crib could help.

It is safer for a baby to sleep in the car seat in the car due to the ability to lock it in place. Having the baby sleep in the car seat outside of the car can increase the risk for it falling/tipping over onto the baby and creating a choking hazard.

Please remember that the baby shouldn't be left in the car to sleep if you aren't driving. Don't leave the kids sleeping in the car once you reach your destination. Once you arrive, move the baby to their crib or pack n play so that they can continue sleeping safely.

Put the sleep sack on inside out or put it on backwards so the zipper is on the baby's back and therefore harder for them to reach.

SIDS stands for "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," and is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn't have a known cause even after a complete investigation. This investigation includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene, and reviewing the clinical history.

When a baby dies, healthcare providers, law enforcement personnel, and communities try to find out why. They ask questions, examine the baby, gather information, and run tests. If they can't find a cause for the death, and if the baby was younger than 1 year old, the medical examiner or coroner may call the death SIDS.

There is potential for a baby’s head to became trapped between the bumper pad and the mattress, causing suffocation. In addition, if the bumper becomes loose, it can be a choking hazard.

Babies who usually sleep on their backs, but who are then placed to sleep on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS.

So it is important for everyone who cares for babies to always place them on their backs to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Contact us if you need help finding a safe sleep environment for your baby. KCHD can help connect you with local initiatives and groups that may be able to help you and your baby. Call 865-215-5170 or email to see if you qualify for assistance.

There is currently no product that can prevent SIDS because there is no known way to prevent SIDS.

Many wedges, positioners, or other products that claim to keep babies in one position or to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, or reflux do not meet federal guidelines for sleep safety. These products, such as inclined sleepers, are linked to injury and death, especially when used in baby's sleep area. You can help prevent injuries and deaths by not using these products and devices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CPSC, AAP, and other organizations warn against using these products, because they are dangerous for babies.

Have Questions?
Call: 865-215-5555

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

On the first Wednesday of every month, all KCHD offices and clinics are closed in the morning for staff in-service. On these days, the main location (140 Dameron Ave.) will open at 11 a.m. and the West Clinic (1028 Old Cedar Bluff) will open at 11:30 a.m.

Clinics will also open at 10:30 a.m. (Main location) and 11 a.m. (West Clinic) on the following Wednesdays: April 17 and July 17. All other offices will open at 8 a.m.