Safe Sleep for Infants

South Carolina is ranked 45th for infant mortality in the United States

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the 3rd leading cause of death in infants

Despite declining overall infant mortality rates in South Carolina, deaths due to SIDS increased by 11.4 percent in 2010. The number of infant deaths in South Carolina due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed has more than doubled since 2004.

In Fall 2011 the South Carolina Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children recommended action on Safe Sleeping for Infants as a focus area for state efforts and resources.

“When an adult shares a bed with an infant, there is a risk of suffocation if during sleep, the adult rolls over on top of the baby. Good work is currently being done to educate and create public awareness of the risk of unsafe sleeping practices. These efforts have the potential to prevent infant deaths, and this work needs to be expanded. The Committee on Children recommends that a comprehensive state and community-based initiative be undertaken to coordinate and mobilize the resources of state and private resources to prevent infants from dying from unsafe sleeping practices.”

Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children, Annual Report 2012

Children’s Trust takes the lead on this initiative

Children’s Trust was asked to take the lead on this initiative. As a result we convened representatives from more than 20 different areas of expertise: medical, public health, nonprofit, educational, public and private agencies. View the list of representatives on our Safe Sleep Coalition page.

Several recommendations came of the Safe Sleep Coalition and were reported back to the Joint Legislative Committee on Children. The full presentation is available in PDF.

  • Use American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for safe sleep. Learn more
  • Develop universal, statewide training to provide consistent, best practice safe sleep instruction.
  • Target caregivers and professionals working/caring for infants up to 12 months.
  • Develop and implement statewide public awareness campaign directed to target audience.
  • Employ wide variety of messaging vehicles determined by audience segment and funding.
  • Prioritize the promotion of safe sleep practices.

Safe Sleeping for Infants Advertising Campaign

Does your child care put babies to sleep safely on their backs?

As part of the S.C. Safe Sleep Coalition, S.C. Child Care Services included a safe sleeping message in their awareness campaign. These billboards will be placed throughout the state. Choosing the right child care can be confusing. Not all child care providers are required to follow the rules necessary to be licensed by the state.

Parents can visit to find these rules, as well as to see if their provider is licensed or registered.

Documents and Resources

  • South Carolina Child Fatality Advisory Committee
    South Carolina state resource for child fatality data, fatality prevention information and child safety resources
  • A Parent’s Guide to Safe Sleep - PDF
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children, 2012 Annual Report - PDF
    State of South Carolina