October is Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Awareness Month

Safe Sleep practices are as easy as ABC!

Carson City, NV October 07, 2021

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announces the launch of Safe Sleep and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Awareness Month on October 1, 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3,400 U.S. infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year, most while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment. A collaborative effort to reduce the infant mortality rate in Nevada by promoting safe sleep practices is comprised of the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) and statewide Cribs for Kids affiliate REMSA Health, along with maternal and child health partners helping to spread the message. In addition, many direct-service providers convey safe sleep messages to parents every day.

Infant sleep-related deaths due to an unsafe sleep environment are preventable. Parents, grandparents, relatives, child care providers and everyone caring for infants is encouraged to learn more about infant safe sleep practices and follow the ABCs of safe sleep by placing a baby to sleep alone on their back and in a crib at all times.

“Safe sleep continues to be a top priority for the State of Nevada.” said Jessica Freeman, Social Services Program Specialist with DCFS. “This year we have expanded our campaign efforts, and we are happy to partner with DPBH and Cribs for Kids to promote safe sleep and reduce unsafe sleeping environments for infants in Nevada.”
To decrease the risk of experiencing an infant sleep-related death, the following actions are recommended:

  • Alone: Place an infant alone in their crib. Caregivers should place an infant to sleep in the same room but not in the same bed.
  • Back: Placing a baby to sleep on their back greatly reduces infant deaths.
  • Crib: Use a firm crib mattress covered by a tight-fitted sheet. Do not put the baby to sleep on an adult bed or couch. Keep blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper padding and other soft items out of the baby’s sleeping area. Refrain from using car seats, swings or strollers for routine sleep.

Caregivers also are encouraged to attend all well-visit appointments and stay current on recommended immunizations, along with breastfeeding and the use of pacifiers, as these have been shown to reduce the chance of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. Safe sleep practices are important at all times, including when traveling, in child care settings and when others are watching your infant.

Click here to learn about programs that can help provide education and safe sleep environments for those who could otherwise not afford it.

For more information on safe sleep practices or about the Maternal and Child Health Program, contact Amber Hise, Maternal and Infant Health Program Coordinator, at ahise@health.nv.gov or by calling (775) 684-5901.



Nathan Orme
Public Information Officer