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September is National Baby Safety Month

September is National Baby Safety Month. Since babies spend most of their time sleeping, it is important to focus on a safe sleep environment to help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

  1. ALWAYS put your baby on its back to sleep; every nap and every night.
  2. Use a firm sleep mattress with a fitted sheet.
  3. Baby should sleep alone.
  4. Remove all soft objects from the crib, including bumper pads, blankets, pillows, & stuffed toys. If you feel the need to use a bumper pad, use the mesh “breathable” kind.
  5. Baby should wear a onesie, sleeper, or sleep sack for warmth rather than being wrapped or covered wtih blankets.
  6. Do not allow smoking in your home or around your baby.
  7. Do not allow your baby to overheat. Room temperature should be between 68-72 ◦ F.
  8. Avoid the use of positioners & other products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  9. Check on your baby frequently.
  10. Consider the use of a pacifier during sleep. If breastfeeding, wait approximately one month for breastfeeding to be well-established prior to introducing a pacifier.
  11. Check your crib and other products to make sure they meet federal safety standards.

Car seat safety is also an extremely important parental responsibility. For the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing child safety seat in a back seat for as long as possible. As of March 2011, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations urge parents to keep children rear facing up to at least the second birthday or up to the height or weight limit of the seat. Hundreds of vehicles and car seats on the market make using your baby’s car seat very confusing. It is important to read the manual for the safety seat and the manual for the vehicle that you’ll be using. Go to a car seat check station for help from certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs). You can go learn more about installing the car seat correctly before the baby is born. Then go again after the baby is born to be sure they are fitted in the seat correctly. Many seat check stations require an appointment, but there are some open events. To find a car seat check station, go to www.seatcheck.org or www.nhtsa.dot.gov for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information, visit the

Back to Sleep campaign www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS
Consumer Product Safety Commission www.cpsc.gov
Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association www.jpma.org
Recalled products www.recalls.gov
SIDS Resources www.sidsresources.org