Safe Sleep Program

Protecting Little Sleepers

Unsafe sleeping environments cause more than 150 infant deaths in Texas each year. These deaths could be prevented by following recommendations for creating a safe sleep environment in your home.

How to Protect Your Child

  • From day one, children need a protected space to sleep. A crib with a tightly fitting sheet and slat width no larger than a soda can (2 inches) is ideal.
  • Refrain from placing additional items such as bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals and loose blankets in the crib with a sleeping child.
  • Keep baby's room cool, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and take care not to dress an infant too warmly.
  • The risk of suffocation is 40 percent greater for infants sleeping in an adult bed. Refrain from placing a child in bed with an older sibling or an adult. Other unsafe environments include armchairs, couches and waterbeds.

The ABCs of Safe Sleep

To reduce the risk of suffocation for an infant in your care, always put the child to sleep:

  • Alone
  • On his or her Back
  • In a Crib that meets standards for safety

"Before they are released from the hospital, new parents are instructed about safe sleep practices, along with CPR and car safety seat verification," says Queta Almanza, injury prevention specialist at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Parents and caregivers may not realize their behavior can put their infants at risk. Sleep-related deaths in infants are preventable when infants are consistently placed in safe sleep environments."

Safe sleep education alone can reduce the number of sudden, unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. by as much as 50 percent.

Additional Resources

In the State of Texas, the Department of Family and Protective Services has launched a statewide public awareness campaign called Room to Breathe. This effort helps educate parents and caregivers about sudden, unexpected infant death and the importance of always giving babies "Room to Breathe."

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For more information, call the Injury Prevention Department at (361) 694-6700


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