Highlighting October’s SIDS Awareness Month 

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. Knox County Health Department’s Cribs for Kids program is working to educate parents and caregivers about how to keep infants safe while sleeping. Along with education, they supply Pack ‘N Plays for partners to distribute to families in need of a safe place for their infants to sleep.

According to the CDC, nearly 3,400 babies in the United States die unexpectedly each year. These deaths often happen during sleep or in a baby’s sleep area, due to wrongful use of household items like blankets and pillows. Instead, sleep sacks are encouraged as the better, safer alternative for keeping infants warm.

To show support for Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month, KCHD is joining the National Institute of Health’s #SafeSleepSnap campaign. This social media activity encourages parents and caregivers to follow safe infant sleep practices and share an example on social media with the #SafeSleepSnap.

A safe sleep environment can help reduce the risks of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation. The Strong Baby program recommends following the ABC’s of safe sleep:

  • Alone:  It’s recommended your baby sleeps in the same room as you, but not in the same bed. A baby needs to be in their own bed. Parents can roll onto babies while sleeping, or babies can get tangled in the sheets or blankets. A baby should never sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or in a chair.
  • Back: Always place babies on their backs to sleep. Lying on the back helps your baby to easily draw in air by keeping the mouth and nose free of obstructions. An infant sleeping on its side or stomach increases the risk of SIDs.
  • Crib: Always place a baby in a safety-approved crib to sleep. The crib should have a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. The baby’s crib should always be free of soft objects. Keep stuffed animals, bumpers, pillows and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.

For more information, visit ABCs of Safe Sleep on the KCHD website or www.StrongBabyKnox.org.