About 4,000 U.S. infants die during sleep time each year

Sept. 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Each year about 4,000 U.S. infants die during sleep time from sudden infant death syndrome, accidental suffocation, or unknown causes, officials say.

To prevent these deaths, several federal agencies -- Administration for Children and Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program, Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration and Indian Health Services -- are focusing on infant health and safety and all are attempting to reach families to warn about infant death risks.

Healthcare providers say the best way to prevent infant deaths while sleeping is to have infants sleep alone, on their backs, and in a clutter-free crib, bassinet, or play yard.

The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement provides recommendations on safe sleep for infants up to age 1. These recommendations include:

-- Always place infants on their back every time they sleep.

-- Use a firm sleep surface, with a fitted sheet.

-- Room sharing without bed sharing.

-- Keep soft objects such as pillows and loose bedding out of the crib.

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