October is Infant Safe Sleep Month in Sarasota County. In 2015 over 120 infants in Florida died because of unsafe sleep situations – sleeping in car seats, on couches, or sharing a bed with siblings or adults. It is the leading cause of death for infants under the age of one in the state of Florida. These deaths, while very tragic, can also be prevented. There are a few simple things you can to keep your baby safe during sleep.
Remember the ABCs:
Alone. Babies should sleep alone in their own crib or bassinet, but in the same room, next to where parents sleep.
Back. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
Crib. Use a firm sleep surface, in a safety-approved crib, covered with a fitted sheet, free from soft objects such as pillows, toys, crib bumpers, or loose bedding.
To keep your baby safe there are additional things to you can do:
Breastfeed! Breastfeeding offers so many protections for babies including cutting the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in half. Breastfeed your baby for at least six months, but longer is better! If you need help breastfeeding contact Healthy Start at 941-861-2905.
Smoke free! Do not smoke around your baby or in the same room where your baby sleeps. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to for your health and the health of your little one. For help in quitting, call the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit Women.Smokefree.gov.
Offer a pacifier. When placing your baby to sleep, offer – but do not force – a pacifier. Do not use pacifier holders or ties. If breastfeeding, wait until the baby is at least one month old and breastfeeding is well established to offer a pacifier.
Prevent overheating. Keep the temperature of the room where baby is sleeping comfortable for a lightly clothed adult and do not overdress your baby.
Keep hazards out of reach. Make sure mobiles, strings from blinds and curtains, or other hazards are out of baby’s reach.
Make sure ALL of your child’s caregivers know these Safe Sleep Tips.
For more information on Safe Sleep education offered in Sarasota County visit http://healthystartsarasota.org/safe-sleep-sarasota-initiative/.