Presented by Safe Kids NWA
In the midst of a pandemic, Safe Kids NWA launched knowing that safety of kids is important any time – especially while kids found themselves at home more than ever. Safe Kids NWA focuses on reducing the number of preventable injuries and deaths in children. Safe Kids NWA is a coalition led by Mercy NWA and a multitude of other partners, including UAMS Northwest and a number of nonprofits, government, health care, public schools and early childhood education partners. Nearly 3500 infants die each year in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths. About half of these deaths are caused by Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SIDS). SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies one month to one year of age. To prevent sleep-related infant deaths, it is important for parents and caregivers to create a safe sleep environment:
- Place babies on their backs for naps and at night until they are 1 year old. Make sure babies sleep on a firm, flat surface in their own crib, bassinet or play yard.
- Choose a firm mattress and fitted sheet for baby’s crib. Keep cribs clear of toys, blankets, pillows, bumper pads and other accessories. Place baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard away from windows, curtains, blinds or decorative accessories with cords.
- Dress baby in a wearable blanket, onesie or similar clothing for every sleep. This will keep babies warm. A loose blanket could cover their airway or make their body temperature too high.
- Share your room, not your bed. Place baby’s crib or bassinet in your bedroom. Instead of letting baby sleep in the same bed with you. After a late-night feeding, return baby to his or her own sleeping surface before you are ready to go to sleep.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your crib. Make sure to complete and submit the product registration card to learn about any recalls or safety updates. If you are not using a new crib, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for information about safety standards and recalls.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or using marijuana and drugs during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Do not smoke or allow smoking around baby’s sleep environment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using the above guidelines ideally for the first year of life, with the first 6 months being the most important.