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Posted By: Katie Gorodetsky -WIC's Immunization Coordinator

  Sleep safe

Sleep related deaths are the number one reason that babies die between 1 month and 1 year of age. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, more than 4,500 infants die suddenly of no immediately obvious cause. Half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUDS) are defined as deaths in infants less than 1 year of age that occur suddenly and unexpectedly and whose causes of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. SIDS is the leading cause of SUID and of all deaths among infants aged 1–12 months.

The risk of SIDS can be greatly reduced by following safe sleep principles. Give your baby the gift of safe sleep by:

  • Putting your baby to sleep on their back ALL the time – at night and for naps.
  • Checking to be sure the crib meets safety standards before putting your baby to sleep in a used crib.  To find out if your crib meets safety standards, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission toll free at: 1-800-638-2772.
  • Not letting your baby sleep on the couch or in an armchair – your baby could get stuck in the cracks and suffocate.
  • Being sure to give your baby plenty of time on their tummy when your baby is awake and an adult is watching.  This will help your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles get stronger.

For more information on safe sleep, please contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Injury Prevention Program at (617) 624-5070 or the Massachusetts Center for SIDS toll-free at 1-800-641-7437.

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