Safe Sleep for Your Infant
If you have a child that is under one year of age, you should be informed on proper sleeping habits and practices that will help protect your child. Apart from congenital malformations and low-birth-weight, the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one month to one year is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS refers to the unexplainable death of a child under one year of age. The main thing that you can do to prevent SIDS is to place your infant to sleep on his or her back. While causes of SIDS is unknown, placing an infant on his or her back during sleep has been shown to reduce occurrences of SIDS.
Other things you should be aware of to create a safe sleeping environment for your child:
- Do not place pillows, comforters or stuffed animals in your child’s crib while they are sleeping.
- Place your infant on a firm surface when they are sleeping.
- Make sure your infant’s crib is safe (see The American Academy of Pediatrics information at http://www.aap.org).
- Make sure you do not bundle your infant up so they are overheated.
- Do not allow your infant to sleep with another sibling.
Many of the safe sleeping guidelines for infants are to avoid smothering and suffocation. Remember, an infant does not have the strength to rollover or remove objects that are hindering their ability to breathe. Providing your infant with a comfortable sleep environment can go a long way to not only keeping your child safe, but helping them develop healthy sleep habits.
Safe sleep habits are essential to your baby’s health and well-being. Therefore, it is imperative that you make family members and anyone who cares for your child aware of the importance of placing your child on their back when they are sleeping and avoiding other potential nighttime hazards discussed in this article.