Safe sleep now for a Stronger Baby later
A baby requires sleep. Lots of it. It’s quite typical for an infant to sleep up to 16-17 hours a day. How babies sleep, however, is just as important as the amount of sleep they get.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015 there were approximately 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States. Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is a death of an infant less than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose cause of death isn’t immediately obvious before investigation. Most SUIDs are reported as one of three types.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Unknown cause
- Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed
You can read more about these types of SUID HERE.
In 2014, the state of Tennessee had 99 infant deaths (down from 117 in 2013) that resulted from an unsafe sleep environment, five of which were classified as SIDS.
Health care providers and researchers aren’t sure of the exact causes of SIDS. However, research shows parents and caregivers can take actions to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
A simple and effective way of ensuring your baby is sleeping properly is to follow the ABC’s of safe sleep. Babies are safest: Alone, lying on their Backs, and in a Crib.
It’s recommended your baby sleeps in the same room as you, but not in the same bed. A baby needs to be in their own bed. Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents are at risk of SIDS or suffocation. Parents can roll onto babies while sleeping, or babies can get tangled in the sheets or blankets. A baby should never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or in a chair.
Always place babies on their backs to sleep for every sleep. Lying on the back helps your baby to easily draw in air by keeping the mouth and nose free of obstructions. An infant sleeping on its side or stomach increases the risk of SUIDs.
Always place a baby in a safety-approved crib to sleep. The crib should have a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. The baby’s crib should always be free of soft objects. Keep stuffed animals, bumpers, pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
What does a safe sleep environment for your baby look like? Click HERE to see.
Watch Sandy’s story. After the unexpected loss of her child, this mom made it her mission to educate parents and caregivers about safe sleep practices for babies.
Cribs for Kids Program
Can’t afford a crib for your infant? The East Tennessee Safe Sleep Initiative’s (ETSSI) Cribs for Kids program may be able to help. ETSSI is a local coalition made up of organizations including the Knox County Health Department, area hospitals and nonprofit organizations. ETSSI provides infant beds and educational information to families in need. Call 865-215-5170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you qualify for assistance.
Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard
We invite individuals or families who have recently experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or early infancy to share their stories. Our goal is to provide support, resources, information, and most importantly, to make sure their voice is heard. This effort is part of our Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program. FIMR is a national, action-oriented community process that continually assesses, monitors, and works to improve service systems and community resources for women, infants, and families. If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact us at 865-660-0896.
Prevention resources for parents and caregivers: