PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department is reporting that most cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are related to improper sleep practices.
“Preventing SIDS is as simple as A-B-C. Infants should be put to sleep Alone, on their Back and in a Crib. We continually work with parents and care-givers so the ideal sleep environment, which also includes a home where there is no smoking, becomes the norm in every household with an infant,” said Acting Health Director Dr. Ron Voorhees.
In its examination of 87 deaths between 2005 and 2010 involving infants under one year of age, the Allegheny County Child Death Review Team found 75% were not in a crib or basinet; nearly 60% were sleeping on a surface with other people; 55% were not put to sleep on their back; and 63% were black.
The Health Department offers the following safe-sleep recommendations for infants:
- Never allow anyone else to sleep with an infant. If an infant falls asleep while feeding, place the baby alone in a crib.
- Place nothing but the baby in a crib, with no loose items such as toys, pillows or blankets.
- Place the baby on its back to sleep – for naptime and bedtime.
- Place the baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitted sheet.
- Never allow a baby to sleep on soft surfaces such as adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds and pillows.
- Never allow any type of smoking around a baby.
- Tell everyone who cares for a baby to follow safe-sleep practices.
For more detailed information and guidance regarding safe-sleep practices, please visit the Health Department’s web site at www.achd.net or call 412-687-ACHD.
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