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Safety Tips for Sleeping Babies
Infant Sleep Hazards
Dangers of Infants Sleeping in Adult Beds
- Getting trapped between the mattress and another object.
- Getting trapped between the mattress and the wall.
- Getting baby's head trapped in headboard or footboard rails.
- Suffocation from soft items like clothing, blankets, pillows, and thick bedding.
Infants Less than One Year of Age:
- Sleeping on the stomach, a position that has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Soft bedding, such as pillows, quilts, comforters, and sheepskins
- Sleep positioners. They are unnecessary and pose a danger.
Making Your Baby’s Bed Safe
Place Your Baby in a Safe Position on Safe Bedding
- Place the baby on his back.
- Keep the baby’s head uncovered during sleep.
- Consider offering the baby a pacifier during nap time and bedtime.
- Do not use loose bedding.
- Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing instead of blankets.
- If a blanket is used, it should be thin and tucked under the mattress at the bottom of the crib. This will keep it from covering the baby's head or face during sleep.
- Use only a fitted bottom sheet specifically made for the mattress.
Avoid Sleep Surfaces That Are Too Soft
- Soft mattress
Make Sure the Crib Is Safe
- No missing or broken hardware, and slats no more than 2-3/8" apart
- No corner posts over 1/16" high
- No cutout designs in the headboard or footboard
- Use the firm, tight-fitting mattress
- A safety certification seal
Remove Soft Bedding
- Loose blankets or sheets
- Bumper pads
- Stuffed toys
Make Sure the Mesh-Sided Crib or Play-Pen Is Safe
- Mesh less than 1/4 inch in size, smaller than the tiny buttons on a baby's clothing
- Mesh with no tears, holes, or loose threads that could entangle a baby
- Mesh that is securely attached to top rail and floor plate
- Top rail cover with no tears or holes
- If staples are used, make sure they are not missing, loose, or exposed
- Use the firm, tight-fitting mattress that came from the manufacturer
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association http://www.jpma.org/
US Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/
Consumer Product Safety Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/index-eng.php/
Public Health Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/
A Parent's Guide to Safe Sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx Accessed November 7, 2012
Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx Accessed November 6, 2012
Consumer Product Safety Commission. Crib safety tips. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5030.html . Accessed November 6, 2012.
CPSC cautions caregivers about hidden hazards for babies on adult beds. Consumer Product Safety Commission. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5091.pdf . Accessed November 6, 2012.
Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics Statement: The changing concept of sudden infant death syndrome: diagnostic coding shifts, controversies regarding the sleeping environment, and new variables to consider in reduction risk. Pediatrics . 2005;116:1245-1255. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/116/5/1245
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : US Food and Drug Administration. Infant sleep positioners: consumer warning—risk of suffocation. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm227575.htm . Updated 7/17/2012. Accessed November 6, 2012.
11/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):1030-1039.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012
- Update Date: 11/15/2012