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Sadie Says… The ABCs of safe sleeping for infants

Q: I have been hearing a lot about babies and safe sleep, and am concerned as I will be babysitting my infant granddaughter soon. What do I need to know?

A: It is estimated that 3,600 infants will die across the United States this year from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Approximately 25 percent of these deaths are due to unsafe sleep practices.

Babies who sleep in adult beds have a 40 times greater risk of dying. Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have a three times greater risk of SUID. Babies who breathe second hand smoke have a two and a half times greater risk of dying.

November is “Infant Safe Sleep Month” in Pennsylvania.

Safe Kids PA, Lycoming County Partner, recommends that all infant caregivers follow the ABC’s of infant safe sleep: Alone, on the Back, in a Crib with a firm mattress with NO bumpers.

Alone

Babies should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else. Room sharing without bed sharing is best.

On the back

Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.

In a crib

Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet. Do not use pillows, blankets, sheepskins or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby’s sleep area. Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area. Make sure nothing covers your baby’s head. Do not use your baby’s infant carrier/child safety seat for sleeping.

Dress your baby in light sleep clothing, such as a one-piece sleeper, and do not use a blanket. Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.

Additionally, do not smoke or let anyone smoke around your baby.

For more information on Safe Sleep or Lycoming County Cribs for Kids, contact Kate Nickels, coordinator, PA Safe Kids, Lycoming County Partner, at 570-320-2157.

— Sadie Says is provided by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.

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