September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month. Infant mortality is when a baby dies before its first birthday and in the U.S. the 2020 infant mortality rate (IMR) was 5.681 per 1,000 live births, higher than many other developed countries.

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is one of the leading causes of infant death with about 3,400 deaths each year. SUID rates had declined in the beginning of the 1990s due to the ‘back to sleep’ campaign. However, since 1999, declines have slowed considerably. It is important to take these safety precautions to reduce the risk of SUID and keep your babies safe.

  • Follow the ABCs of Sleep: babies should sleep Alone on their Back in a Crib, bassinet, or play yard that hasn’t been recalled and meets current safety standards. To check if your crib has been recalled, visit the CPSC Website.
  • Bare is best. Baby should sleep on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet, with nothing else in the space, including bumper pads, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals. Instead of blankets, use wearable blankets (also known as sleep sacks) to keep babies comfortable.
  • Cords near the sleep environment (such as corded window blinds or baby monitors) pose strangulation hazards. Never use corded blinds in a baby’s room and place the crib away from baby monitors cords. The safest option is to go cordless!
  • If a baby falls asleep in a swing, bouncer, car seat, or similar product, transfer them to a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
  • Inclined products, such as rockers, gliders, soothers and swings should never be used for infant sleep.

These tips can save lives, so use them throughout the year to keep your little ones safe. Read the American Academy of Pediatrics updated safe sleep guidelines and watch KID’s Safe Sleep PSA. If you have any questions leave a comment, or contact us through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram: @kidsindanger.