October is SIDS Awareness Month

A sleeping baby, they are wearing pink pajamas and their arms are up by their head. There is nothing else on their sleep surface.

October is SIDS Awareness Month, a month when we spread the word about safe infant sleep. Do you know what the ABCs of safe sleep are? The ABCs of safe sleep are an easy way to make sure your baby’s sleep space is safe for naps and overnight sleep. They are: Alone; On Back; In a Crib, with no blankets, bumpers, pillows, or toys. Learn more below!

What is SIDS?

SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is the term used to describe the sudden death of a baby younger than 1 year old that doesn’t have a known cause. SIDS is one of the three most common types of SUID (sudden unexpected infant death syndrome). The other two most common types of SUID are accidental suffocation/strangulation in bed and unknown causes.

What can I do to reduce the risk of SIDS?

There are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS. Most importantly: Always remember the ABCs of safe sleep!

The ABCs of safe sleep for babies are: Alone; On Back; In a Crib, with no blankets, bumpers, pillows, or toys.

We have a lot more information on the ABCs of safe sleep on our Safe Sleep Philly page.

Other steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS are: use a firm sleeping surface, feed your baby human milk (breastfeeding, by bottle, etc.), share a room with baby for at least 6 months, keep baby's surroundings smoke-free, make sure anyone caring for baby is alcohol- and drug-free, avoid letting baby get too hot, and give baby plenty of tummy time when they are awake (with proper supervision).

What is Philly doing to promote safe infant sleep?

The Safe Sleep Philly Crib Program is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health. This program provides any Philly resident with a child under one year with safe sleep education and a free portable crib. In 2022, 1,174 Pack n’ Plays were delivered to Philly families!

The Health Department also conducts safe sleep training for health care providers, community-based organizations, early childhood programs, and any other providers who interact with families.

Want to hear more about the Safe Sleep Philly Crib Program, and some practical tips for families and caregivers? Annette Frazier, the Safe Sleep Program Manager, was recently on The Source on WURD Radio and on CBS Philadelphia. Listen to her interview and watch the news clip below!


Sleep-Related Deaths and the Philadelphia Response, 2022

National Institutes of Health

American Academy of Pediatrics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Learn more about safe infant sleep.

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