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Tenenssee Department of Health says remember the ABCs of Safe Sleep this Holiday Season

Tennessee Department of Health - TDOHNashville, TN – Putting your baby to sleep using the ABCs of Safe Sleep saves lives. The Tennessee Department of Health urges parents to remember it’s very important to make sure family and friends follow these simple steps while visiting during the holidays: Babies sleep safest Alone, on their Backs and in a Crib.

“Loved ones are always eager to see and hold the newest family members during holiday visits. It’s really important that everyone who will be involved in caring for a baby knows about the safest way to put the baby to sleep,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH.

“A” is for Alone: always let the baby sleep alone, never in a bed with another person where the baby could be smothered. “B” is for on the baby’s Back: an infant should be placed to sleep on his or her back, not on his or her side or stomach. “C” is for Crib: always put your child to sleep in a crib with only a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet.

In 2013, Tennessee’s infant mortality rate was down to 6.8 per 1,000 births, the lowest infant mortality rate in the state’s history. Despite this positive drop in the number of infant deaths, the Tennessee Department of Health encourages everyone remember the ABCs of Safe Sleep.

“We know if babies sleep with someone else, such as a parent or another child, it increases their chance of someone rolling over top of them,” said Michael Warren, MD, MPH, TDH director of Family Health & Wellness. “We encourage everyone to share the ABCs of Safe Sleep with grandparents or anyone who might be taking care of a baby this holiday season or anytime.”

Parents and other caregivers can remember these key steps to reduce the likelihood of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths:

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep.
  • Sharing a room with your baby is okay, but sharing a bed is dangerous. Babies should sleep alone in their own crib or bassinette.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tight-fitting sheet in the baby’s crib. Keep stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, bumper pads and toys out of the crib.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy or after your baby is born.
  • Be sure all those who are caring for the baby know about safe sleep practices.

To learn more about the TDH Safe Sleep campaign, visit http://safesleep.tn.gov.

About the Tennessee Department of Health

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.

Learn more about TDH services and programs at http://health.state.tn.us/.


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