CPSC, NIH issue advice on safe sleep for infants

The Consumer Product Safety Commission this week released an educational video aimed at reducing the number of infant injuries and deaths associated with unsafe sleep areas.

Recommendations for creating a safe sleep environment include placing infants to sleep on their backs without extra pillows, blankets or sleep positioning devices. Caregivers also should regularly check the child's crib to make sure no pieces are missing or broken.

According to the National Institutes of Health, creating safe sleep areas for infants may be of particular concern in winter, when caregivers are more likely to bundle babies in extra clothes and blankets. NIH warns that overheating increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, and recommends placing infants in light clothing and in rooms with a temperature that is comfortable for adults.

SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, resulting in more than 2,300 fatalities in 2006, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

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