reduce SIDs risk: sleep safeSudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the term used to describe the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1. The cause of SIDS is unknown, but here are 10 ways to reduce risk:

1) At night and for naps, always place your child on her back to sleep.

2) Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress. 

3) Keep soft objects, including toys, pillows, and loose bedding, out of your child’s sleep area. 

4) Do not allow smoking around your child.  

5) Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and other family members sleep.

6) Do not let your baby overheat in the night; dress him in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that’s comfortable for an adult. 

7) Do not rely on home monitors to prevent SIDS or reduce the risk of SIDS.

​After the launch of the Back-to-Sleep campaign in 1994, the rate of SIDS declined by more than 50 percent.

8) Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS; most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.

9) Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep, but do not force the baby to take it. For breastfed babies, wait until the child is at least 1 month old before offering a pacifier.

10) To strengthen your baby’s neck muscles and avoid “flat spots” on her head (from sleeping in the same position), introduce “tummy time” when your baby is awake and someone is watching. 

Sources: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; American Academy of Pediatrics