Why it's best for babies to sleep on their backs

- When it comes to babies and sleep, putting them on their back is the safest way for them to get their sleep. Joann Moss from the Kohl's Injury Prevention Program joined us in studio to tell us why.

You can hear from her in the video player above, or continue reading below.

Sleep-related death is the number-one health threat to infants from one month to 1 year old. Between 2010 and 2015, 871 Michigan infants died a sleep-related death. One in two of those infants were found on their stomachs, despite the fact that parents and caregivers have been advised to put babies to sleep on their back since 1994 (that's 23 years!).

To keep your baby safe, the Kohl's Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) recommends you make protecting your sleeping baby a "Family Affair" by making sure every member of the household knows a baby needs to sleep Alone on their Back in a Crib every time they are put to sleep.

Multi-generational households are on the rise. Teach ALL caregivers - dads, siblings, babysitters - everyone who will put baby to sleep - about safe sleep practices. Grandparents and other senior family members often have a great deal of influence on how an infant is cared for overall. Many of the customs "handed down through the generations" (i.e. putting infants to sleep on their stomach, putting cereal in bottles and propping bottles) are putting infants at risk. It is important for the family matriarchs to also be educated on the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Alone
Don't allow baby to share any sleep surface: bed, couch, recliner, floor etc.
Keep pillows, blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, extra diapers etc. out of the crib

Back
Babies should not be allowed to sleep long periods in car seats, swings, or bouncers; flat on their back is the safest sleep position. 

Crib
Pack 'n plays and bassinets are also safe.

Smoke-free
Second-hand smoke is smoke inhaled while others are smoking.
Third-hand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke (i.e. clothes, skin, carpet, furniture, car interiors…)
Second and third-hand smoke can affect a baby's brain, lungs and heart.

Other Factors Affecting Sleep-Related Deaths:
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of sudden unexplained infant deaths (SUIDS).
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of SIDS.
Excessive clothing or blankets and a higher temperature in the room are associated with an increased SIDS risk.
The AAP recommends offering an infant a pacifier at naptime and bedtime to reduce the risk of SIDS.

For more safety tips, go to www.childrensdmc.org/KIPP.

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