In 2015, the death of a 3-month-old infant who was put to sleep in a covered car seat gained national attention. Stories like these, which highlight Sudden infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, present a uniquely terrifying prospect to new and prospective parents alike. For Jennifer Canter, MD, MPH, FAAP, Director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Program & Forensic Acute Care Team at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Westchester Medical Center (WMC), it is a stark reminder of the importance of safer sleep. “One of the ways we are seeking to combat infant death is to work on modeling safe sleep while still in the hospital; we also want to educate parents and caregivers to understand the risk factors, with an eye toward prevention,” said Dr. Canter. Here are Dr. Canter’s five tips to promote safer sleep:
1. Infants should sleep in a designated crib, whether portable or not, and not an adult bed or a car seat.
2. Infants should always sleep alone.
3. No pillows or blankets should be present where infants are sleeping.
4. Infants should be placed on their backs, not one their sides or ide or stomachs.
5. Infants should not be over-bundled – just a light extra layer in addition to what an adult would need.
For additional resources and information on safer sleep, visit www.safebabiesny.com.