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Baby Safe Sleep

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The Navy Baby Safe Sleep Mission is to reduce the sleep-related child fatality incidents within the military community.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the United States has a high infant mortality rate. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of baby death incidents are the result of unsafe sleep practices.

September is Baby Safe Sleep Month. This is the time when our nation is reminded that all babies are fragile while sleeping. Sadly, statistics show that the number of babies who die in adult beds and other unsafe sleep environments are increasing.

Research has shown that babies are at a significantly higher risk for accidental death while sleeping in an adult bed, rather than a safe crib. Furthermore, studies have also found that bed-sharing is the most common cause of deaths for babies 3 months and younger. Therefore, parents and caregivers must always be mindful that babies are at highest risk of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed during the first 6 months of life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend room share – parents and caregivers sleep in the same room with babies, but in separate beds. Ideally, parents and child caregivers should share the same room for either the first 6 months or first year of a child’s life.

Reduce the Risk

Below are a few guidelines for parents and caregivers to follow that would reduce the risks for accidental sleep related deaths:

  • Share your room - NOT your bed.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep - for naps and at night.
  • Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Your baby should sleep alone in their own sleeping area.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, crib bumpers and blankets out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Use a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string.

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