Safe Sleep Background

What is Safe Sleep?

Putting baby to sleep in ways that can help protect him/her from dangers, such as choking, suffocation, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What is Unsafe Sleep?

Anything in the caretaker’s control that could increase an infant’s risk of sleep-related death.

This could be due to a number of factors, sleeping position, sleeping surface, sleeping environment, cultural customs and belief, simply not knowing safe sleep practices and the recommendations.


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

What is it?

SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than one year old.

Although SIDS is not always due unsafe sleep, it can include factors such as sleeping position, sleeping surface, and sleeping environment.

What are the risk factors?

    Age: SIDS is most common for babies between 1 and 4 months. But it can happen at any time during the first year of life.

    Time of year: Infants born around the colder months are at a disadvantage because as parents, we want to ensure our babies are comfortable when they’re sleeping – it’s just our natural instinct. So, during the winter, when the temperature is lower, babies are more likely to have blankets in their sleeping environment, which is a red flag for safe sleep practices.

    Health Status: Premature babies are at a higher risk due to their health status as well, and may have other compromising conditions that could attribute to SIDS (respiratory issues, heart complications, etc.).

    Race: Black babies are 2.5-3 times more likely to die due to SIDS and this does not take into account any other type of disparity such as education level, marital status, or socioeconomic status.

How can I reduce my baby’s risk of SIDS?

  • Follow safe sleep practices
  • Don’t smoke around baby
  • Breastfeed your baby, if possible
  • Make sure your baby receives all necessary vaccinations


Unsafe Sleep Deaths in Ohio


3 babies die each week in Ohio due to unsafe sleep environments


In 2018, there were 140 infants that died due to unsafe sleep environments in Ohio


In 2018, 45% of all Ohio infant safe sleep deaths occurred in an adult bed


Take the Quiz

How many infants die each week in Ohio due to unsafe sleep?

How can you reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS?