EARLY YEARS: October is SIDS Awareness Month

Carilion Children’s Safe Kids offers safe sleep reminders for parents of infants
Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 6:05 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - ”The first thing they need to keep in mind is, unfortunately, unsafe sleep spaces is the number one preventable deaths from births to 12 months of age across the nation,” says Jill Drakeford, Coordinator of Carilion Children’s Safe Kids.

To help avoid that tragedy, Drakeford recommends the ABCs of safe sleep:

A for alone. Babies should always sleep alone.

B is for putting babies on their backs to sleep.

And C is to put babies to sleep in a crib.

As cozy as it might look, Drakeford says keep pillows, blankets, bumper pads and stuffed animals out of cribs and bassinets.

“We love all the soft and cozy things, right? But those are the things that can impede a child’s breathing that we’re trying to avoid,” says Drakeford.

Instead, she suggests putting the baby in a wearable blanket or a fleece footed sleeper.

Among new recommendations, no pacifier with a toy attached, and no letting the baby sleep in a car seat unless riding in a car.

“The reason we have issues with these is because babies start to move around. If they turn around and get their face up against the side of the car seat, they can’t get the air that they need, and they can wiggle and squirm and get strangled,” says Drakeford.

And with the high costs of raising a child, it’s okay to use items that are second-hand, but be cautious.

“Any crib that was manufactured after 2011 should be safe to use, but a lot of times we have family members that have handed down cribs or bassinets or we get them at yard sales or marketplace or on line. We always want to make sure it is a safety approved crib,” says Drakeford.

Drakeford also suggests not putting caps on babies as they’re sleeping, or use weighted blankets on babies, because they can cause the baby to get overheated.

You can learn about more safe sleep tips on this website.