Rensselaer County Child Fatality Review Team:
Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office
Rensselaer County Courthouse
Troy, New York 12180
No matter where you have your baby sleep, be sure you provide a safe sleeping environment.
Do’s & Dont's For Safe Sleep
- Babies should sleep ALONE.
- Babies should sleep in a crib that meets current safety standards and has a firm, tight-fitting mattress.
- Healthy babies should be placed on their backs to sleep.
- Infant sleepers should be worn instead of blankets.
- If a blanket is used, it should be thin, tucked in and only to the chest of the infant.
- Do not place a baby to sleep on a waterbed, soft surface or any soft bedding, couch or futon.
- Babies under 24 months should not sleep in the same bed with siblings/other children.
- Do not place baby on a bed with a space between the adjoining wall where the baby could roll and become trapped.
- Do not sleep with your baby. Risk for suffocation increases if you are exhausted from sleep deprivation or have been using drugs and/or alcohol.
What Can Happen?
An infant sleeping in anything other than a “safe” baby bed can result in lowered oxygen supply and/or accidental smothering.
Babies Belong In Safe Baby Beds
- When purchasing a crib, look for a Consumer Product Safety Commission label or a Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA) label stating that the crib conforms to safety standards.
- Check the space between the bars of the crib rails. The bars should be no
- Be sure the mattress fits the crib. There should be no more than a 1-1/2 inch gap between the mattress and the sides of the crib.
- Remember the firmer the mattress, the safer.
- Don’t place the crib in an unsafe area in the room. It should not be near a heater, against a window, or near any dangling cords.
- The baby’s crib should not contain any bedding, stuffed animals, toys or anything that could cover the mouth or nose of the baby.
What Happens During Sleep?
What Happens When Breathing Stops?
- 3 - 4 MINUTES:
- Circulation Fails
- Heart Stops
- Heart Damage Is Rapid and Irreversible
- 4 - 5 MINUTES:
- Cardiac Arrest (heart stops)
- Severe Brain Damage
- 6 MINUTES:
Keep Your Baby Safe
Since the development of the Rensselaer County Child Fatality Review Team, a startling trend has been discovered. A number of infant deaths reviewed by the team have been linked to unsafe sleep habits. Don’t let this happen to your baby!
* The New York State Department of Health says infants should be put to sleep on their backs—"Back to Sleep" - to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The Rensselaer County Child Fatality Review Team adds: Check to see if it is "Safe to Sleep" when putting babies to bed.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) national data shows that from 1999 through 2001, at least 180 children, under the age of two, died after being placed in adult beds.
Approximately one-third of the deaths in adult beds during that period were caused by an adult or another child laying on top of a baby.
CPSC data shows that babies placed in adult beds are at risk of dying from several hidden hazards including:
- Entrapment between the bed and wall, or between the bed and another object.
- Entrapment involving headboards, footboards or bed frames.
- Soft bedding related hazards such as suffocation on a pillow.
- Falls resulting in suffocation.
- Overlaying of the baby by another child or adult in the bed.
- Parents have no intention of hurting their children but accidental smothering may occur during the parents normal sleep cycle.
- Sleep deepens for 90 minutes after falling asleep.
- During the four cycles of sleep, involuntary movement and muscle activity occurs as well as unconscious rolling over and repositioning of arms and legs.
- Even an arm placed over a baby for safety could result in accidental smothering