Help prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Isanti County Family Support Team
Guest Commentary

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Isanti County child protection multi-disciplinary team, Family Support Team, would like to get the word out to all parents of what a safe sleeping environment looks like for infants.

Research has shown that the area in which an infant sleeps can inadvertently be a cause of death. For example, while sleeping with his/her infant, a parent may accidentally roll over on the infant or the infant may get caught in between the parent and sofa or bed; or when sleeping with blankets, the infant could accidentally suffocate.

In fact, some deaths of infants that were previously classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are now being classified as other causes of infant death (e.g accidental suffocation).  In response to the studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have partnered to increase the public’s awareness of what a safe sleeping environment looks like for a baby ages 0-12 months.

To reduce the risk of death for an infant, AAP and NICHD recommend the following:

• Use a firm sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.

• Do not use pillows, blankets, sheepskins, or crib bumpers anywhere in your baby’s sleep area.

• Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.

• Do not smoke or let anyone smoke around your baby.

• Maker sure nothing covers the baby’s head.

• Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.

• Dress your baby in light sleep clothing, such as a one-piece sleeper, and do not use a blanket.

• Baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else.

For more information on the Safe to Sleep campaign and what a safe sleep environment looks like please visit the NICHD website at

Article submitted by the Isanti County Family Support Team, “working together to promote a safe and supportive community for children and families.”