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November 13-19 declared Infant Safe Sleep Week in Minnesota

Governor Tim Walz has declared November 13-19, 2022 Infant Safe Sleep Week in Minnesota.

Every year, 50 or more Minnesota babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. Most of these deaths are caused by unsafe sleep environments. These preventable deaths affect families across all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, national origins and political beliefs.

The safest sleep position for babies is on their back because there is lower risk for accidental suffocation. This is true for all babies, including preterm babies, until they are one year old. The best way to prevent infant sleep-related deaths is to make sure that a baby’s sleeping environment and position are safe. Anyone who takes care of babies should know the ABCs of infant safe sleep.

  • A: ALONE: Infants should always sleep or nap alone.
  • B: BACK: Always put a baby on their back to sleep or nap.
  • C: CRIB: Babies should always sleep or nap in their own safety-approved crib or play yard. Keep loose bedding, bumper pads, blankets, toys or pillows out of cribs to prevent sleep-related tragedies.

Watch ABCs of Infant Safe Sleep video

In addition to the ABCs of safe sleep, always remember to:

  • Never put babies to sleep or nap with other people, pets, or stuffed animals. Babies who share a sleep surface with other people or objects are at increased risk of suffocating.
  • Never put babies to sleep or nap on their stomachs. This can cause choking and make it harder for them to breathe.
  • Never put babies to sleep on adult beds, sofas, recliners, armchairs, futons, and loveseats, or in car seats and baby bouncers. They should sleep in their own safety-approved crib or play yard that has a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.

Following safe sleep guidelines is now more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with RSV and the flu, is causing stress and fatigue among many. That's why it's crucial for anyone who takes care of babies, including parents, caregivers, child care providers, health care providers, and family members, to remember and follow safe sleep practices every time an infant sleeps or naps.

This content was developed based on Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.
ABCs of Infant Safe Sleep video produced by the Ramsey County Birth Equity Community Council. 

Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2022 - 10:15 a.m.