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Helpful Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Pub. 5006

Adobe PDF Pub. 5006 (54k) in English and Spanish. Also available in Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the diagnosis given for the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants aged 1 month to 12 months.

These tips have been developed to reduce the risk of SIDS. Studies have shown that by following these guidelines you will lessen the risk of SIDS.

  • Place your baby on his or her back to sleep. Infants who fall asleep on their stomachs should be gently turned onto their backs.
  • Make sure that child care providers, grandparents, babysitters and any other caregiver place your baby on his or her back to sleep.
  • Place your baby to bed on a firm mattress, preferably in a safety-approved crib. Do NOT use pillows, comforters or stuffed toys in the baby's crib. Make sure that the mattress fits snuggly into the crib frame and that the crib's slats are less than 2 ½ inches apart.
  • Be careful about sleeping with infants, especially on small surfaces. A small sleeping area and the sharing of that space with one or more adults or siblings increases the risk of the infant becoming entrapped in bedding or smothered during the shifting that may occur during sleep.
  • Temperature must also be considered for your baby's comfort. Use safe sleepwear without strings or ties, making sure your baby is not over bundled. It is recommended that room temperature not be set higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Some "tummy time" during awake hours is good for your baby. This helps to strengthen your baby's neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Remember, smoking is hazardous to your health as well as to your baby's health and development.

Pub. #5006 (01/05)

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