Oakland County: Follow Safe Sleep Practices To Prevent Infant Deaths

Pontiac, Michigan – October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month and the Oakland County Health Division is reminding residents to follow infant safe sleep practices during naps and bedtime. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, a baby dies every three days from a sleep-related cause in Michigan. Research from the Michigan Public Health Institute shows that 95 infants died due to sleep-related causes in Oakland County from 2010-2019.

“Many of these deaths are attributed to baby sharing the same sleep space with other people and objects in sleeping spaces,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, director for Oakland County. “Following safe sleep practices can help ensure baby is safer while sleeping.”

Take these steps to help keep baby safe while sleeping:

  • Always place baby on their back to sleep
  • Use a crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play that meet current safety standards every time during naps and bedtime
  • Place baby to sleep alone in their crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play
  • Do not place baby to sleep in an adult bed, couch, or chair, with you or alone
  • Use a firm mattress with a tight fitted sheet
  • Remove all loose bedding, stuffed animals, pillows, and bumper pads from baby’s crib
  • Dress baby in sleep clothing appropriate for the indoor temperature
  • Keep the room temperature comfortable, do not overheat baby
  • Do not smoke or vape around baby
  • Remove a sleeping baby from their car seat after arriving to their destination

Examples of sleep-related infant deaths include: suffocation by another person rolling over on baby when sleeping on the same sleep surface, strangulation when blankets wrap around baby’s airway, and choking from baby sleeping on their stomach and spit up going down their air tube.

To review current crib, bassinet and pack-n-play safety standards, visit https://www.cpsc.gov/SafeSleep

To learn if a crib, bassinet or pack-n-play has been recalled, visit www.cpsc.gov/recalls/.

As part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month campaign, Oakland County Health Division encourages caregivers to participate in #SafeSleepSnap on social media. Post a picture on social media of your baby sleeping as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and tag your post with #SafeSleepSnapOC. With your permission, your photo could be used as part of future safe sleep campaigns.

More information about safe sleep can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s website https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71548_57836—,00.html or by contacting Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or [email protected]. Nurse on Call is available 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.
For media inquiries only please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.