Although the rates of unexplained sudden death in infants (sometimes called sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS] or sudden unexplained/unexpected infant death [SUID]) have decreased over the past couple decades, about 3,500 sleep-related deaths still occur each year in the U.S. Recent research shows that unsafe bedding, such as loose blankets in the sleep area, remains a leading factor associated with infant death.
Although the exact causes of unexplained sudden death in infants are often unknown, the risk can be reduced by creating a Safe Sleep Environment:
Figure 1 Safe Sleep for Your Baby, from https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/resources/providers/downloadable/infographic_vertical, accessed 9/21/2021
Other recommendations to reduce the risk of unexplained sudden death are:
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Offer your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow others to smoke around your baby.
- Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
Make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows about these ways to reduce the risk of unexplained sudden death and other sleep-related infant deaths.
For more information:
- CDC Safe Sleep Video: https://youtu.be/09kNXxYB_Ko
- Safe Sleep for Your Baby: https://youtu.be/29sLucYtvpA
- Safe to Sleep: What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/safe_sleep_environment_rev.pdf
- Breastfeed Your Baby to Reduce the Risk of SIDS: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-11/Breastfeed_Baby_SIDS_final.pdf
- Info for Dads – Help Baby Sleep Safe: https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/inline-files/S2S_Dad_Infographic.PDF
- Safe Infant Sleep for Grandparents and Other Trusted Caregivers: https://youtu.be/-ELZirhL0s0
- Ways to Reduce The Risk Of SIDS And Other Sleep-Related Causes Of Infant Death