October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month.
Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger. Last year in Illinois 114 infants died as a result of unsafe sleep practices. Department of Child and Family Services Spokesperson Deborah Lopez says there are important steps parents can take to ensure their babies are safe when they are put to bed: “Infants should always sleep alone, on their backs, and in a safe crib with a firm mattress and tightly-fitted sheet. The crib should be free of pillows, blankets, bumper pads, and stuffed animals and toys. An infant should never be placed in an adult bed or couch to sleep. Infants are in danger when they are in a location that is not in a crib, bassinet, or pack-and-play. They should be placed on their backs, as well; and should not co-sleep with another person.”
Of the children that died last year due to unsafe sleep practices, DCFS says 97 were found in locations other than a crib, bassinet, or pack-and-play, 73 were found in positions other than on their back, and 83 were co-sleeping with another individual at the time of death.