There are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among U.S. babies each year, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, and deaths from unknown causes.
In the 1990s, there were sharp declines in sleep-related deaths following the national “Back to Sleep” safe sleep campaign. However, the declines have slowed since the late 1990s – and data from a new Vital Signs report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the risk for babies persists.
“Unfortunately, too many babies in this country are lost to sleep-related deaths that might be prevented,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We must do more to ensure every family knows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations – babies should sleep on their backs, without any toys or soft bedding, and in their own crib. Parents are encouraged to share a room with the baby, but not the same bed. These strategies will help reduce the risk and protect our babies from harm.”