According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), sleep-related infant deaths, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) affect approximately 3500 infants annually in the United States. After an initial decrease in the 1990s, with the “Back to Sleep” campaign, the overall death rate attributable to sleep-related infant deaths has not declined in more recent years.
AAP has released an updated policy statement in Pediatrics with recommendations for a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths. Remember to review these recommendations with new parents. Recommendations for a safe sleep environment include:
• supine positioning
• use of a firm sleep surface
• room-sharing without bed-sharing
• avoidance of soft bedding and overheating
• avoidance of exposure to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs
• routine immunization
• use of a pacifier
The new Sleep Guidelines will posted on the Home Visitor Portal along with other updates impacting home visiting practice. Check in often to see the most recent articles on Safe Infant Sleep and other issues affecting young families.