Preventing suffocation with children

Because most infant suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment, babies should always sleep in safe cribs.

  • Place your baby on his or her back to sleep in a crib that meets safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA).
  • Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with a crib sheet and nothing else in it.

Soft bedding can suffocate a baby, blocking his or her airway during sleep. Babies can suffocate when their faces become wedged against or buried in a mattress, pillow or other soft object. This can also happen when someone in the same bed rolls over onto them.

  • Remove pillows, loose sheets or blankets, stuffed toys, crib bumpers, sleep positioners and other soft bedding products before putting babies to sleep.
  • To keep your baby warm, use a sleep sack (wearable blanket).

Babies should never sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs, baby swings, or car seats

  • Room-sharing is a safer option than having your baby sleep in bed with you. Place your baby’s crib, play yard or bassinet in your room during the first 6 months for more convenient feeding and close contact.
  • Remember to always return your baby to his or her own crib when you’re ready to go back to sleep.

Make sure toys and other items children play with do not pose suffocation hazards.

  • Make sure toy chests have no lids or have safety hinges.
  • Do not let children access to household appliances where they could become trapped, such as refrigerators or dryers.
Learn CPR and First Aid for infants and children.

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