In recognition of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, the federal agencies focused on infant health and safety, ask all organizations who reach families and health care providers through media, print, and education to show infants sleeping in safe environments:
- on their backs, and
- in a clutter-free crib, bassinet, or play yard.
Too often, unsafe sleep environments are shown and reinforced in public health communications. Images should not reinforce co-sleeping, nor should images include extra blankets, stuffed animals, bumpers or other soft items that can pose a suffocation hazard.
Each year about 4,000 infants die unexpectedly during sleep time, from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation, or unknown causes. Fortunately, much has been learned about how to reduce the chances that these sleep-related infant deaths will occur. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a policy statement on safe sleep environments identifying additional ways to prevent sleep-related deaths among infants..