Every year in the United States, 3,400 infants die of sleep-related causes. In Sacramento County, one infant every other week dies, due to their sleep environment.
Many are suffocated by blankets or pillows in their bed, or are crushed when a parent accidentally rolls over on their infant. Others sustain injury when they fall out of a bed that they share with a parent.
UC Davis Children's Hospital is working in conjunction with the Child Abuse Prevention Center to promote safe sleep practices, including the ABC's of safe sleep:
A is for alone: The baby should sleep alone - not co-sleeping with a parent or siblings.
B is for back: The baby should be laying on his or her back.
C is for crib: The baby should sleep in a crib, bassinet or cradle - not sharing a bed with a parent.
Other safety tips include:
- Do not overdress the baby.
- Do not put anything in the baby's sleep area. No crib bumpers, stuffed animals, loose blankets or pillows.
- Do not smoke anything around the baby.
- Parents are invited to bring their baby's crib or bassinet near their own bed. This is co-rooming, not co-sleeping.
- Use a sleep sack.
In 2017, UC Davis Children's Hospital will provide sleep sacks for all infants in the hospital and health care providers have been trained in safe sleep practices. Thanks to a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals grant, all infants will also receive a complimentary sleep sack when they are discharged to go home.