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CHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is emphasizing the importance of safe sleep for infants during a time when many parents are experiencing heightened stress levels and alternative daily routines, which could include new caregivers for their children.

Parents should remember the ABC’s of sleep safety. A child should be alone and never sleeping with someone else, placed on their back and not on their sides or stomach, and in a crib rather than on a bed or couch.

“Some families, especially those of essential workers, are developing new daily routines during this unprecedented time, which could include new child care providers or caregivers,” Hunter said. “I would encourage every parent to have a conversation with any alternative caregiver about the ABC’s of sleep and other rules for a safe sleep environment.”

Sleep suffocation is the leading cause of reported child deaths in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Last year, between January 1 and June 30, 53 infants in Illinois under the age of 1 died as a result of being put to sleep unsafely. Being placed in a location to sleep other than a crib, bassinet or pack and play; lying in positions that weren’t on their back; or co-sleeping lead to the deaths.

Babies are safest when they are alone in a crib with a firm mattress and tightly-fitted sheets. The crib should not have any pillows, blankets or stuffed animals. Additionally, a baby should never be put to sleep on an adult bed or couch.

“These are simple and vital steps every parent and caregiver should keep in mind when saying goodnight to a little one,” Hunter said. “There are many products on the market that promise to reduce the risk of accidental suffocation or SIDS, but parents should know that practicing the ABC’s of sleep is the safest measure we can take to ensure safe and healthy sleep for babies and infants.”

Parents having difficulty getting their baby to sleep should contact their pediatrician or the Fussy Baby Network at 1-888-431-BABY (2229) for professional guidance.

Parents can also visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Crib Safety Information Center for sleep safety tips and a list of recalled products.

Category: News

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