What does safe sleep look like?

Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley

According to the Ohio Department of Health, every week in Ohio, 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environments

According to the Ohio Department of Health, every week in Ohio, 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environments. So, what should parents and other caregivers know in order to minimize the risk?

Dr. Jennifer Manning, a neonatologist with Akron Children’s Hospital, says it can be as easy as ABC: Alone, on their Backs and in a Crib. A safe sleep environment also includes the following:

• A firm sleep surface and fitted sheet
• No blankets, bumper pads or toys
• Do not allow baby to sleep with an adult or child in a bed, couch or chair
• After breastfeeding, return baby to his crib
• You may offer a dry pacifier, with no strings or clips
• No smoking near baby
• Provide tummy time for your baby to play while awake to assist development

What is unsafe about putting baby on his belly?

Manning says data suggests that babies are safest on their backs due to their anatomy. Here’s why: Like an adult, baby has a breathing tube and a feeding tube, which lie on top of each other. So, if baby is on his back and throws up, that liquid will slide back down the feeding tube. But if baby is on his belly and throws up, that liquid has a greater chance of going up the feeding tube and down the breathing tube and that’s where the danger lies.

To learn more, visit akronchildrens.org

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