October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reminds parents and caregivers of three simple steps to ensure the infants in their care are put to sleep safely.
“Caregivers must use the ABCs of Safe Sleep every time they put an infant to sleep: A baby should sleep alone, on his or her back, in a safe crib – with no exceptions,” says George H. Sheldon, director of DCFS. “The mattress should be firm, the sheet should fit tightly, and there shouldn’t be anything else in the crib but the baby. This includes pillows, blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, or toys.”
- For babies under the age of one, sleep is the number one safety issue: Sleep suffocation and SIDS are among the leading causes of death for infants age one and younger.
- Co-sleeping is especially dangerous when a parent or caregiver is under the influence.
- Infants are seriously injured or killed every week when a parent or caregiver makes the tragic decision to place them in unsafe sleeping arrangements, such as an adult bed or couch.
- These tragedies can all be prevented