By Jill Katz, Sudden Infant and Child Death Resource Center
Sleep-related infant death is preventable. Most involve suffocation combined with an unsafe sleep condition. Infants from 1-6 months old are vulnerable and infants from 2-4 months old are most at risk. In NYC, these preventable deaths are occurring at the rate of approximately 1 death per week. A majority of the deaths are happening in the Bronx and Brooklyn in low income areas. There are ways parents can reduce the risk.
- must sleep on their back
- must sleep in a crib or bassinet
- should never sleep in an adult bed
- must sleep on a firm mattress and fitted sheet in the crib
- should never sleep with bumpers, pillows, blankets or compressible toys in the crib
In addition, parents should maintain a smoke free zone around the baby. Breastfeeding is best but it is important to do it safely. The mother should be upright, alert and awake!