Despite significant improvements in reducing infant mortality in Oklahoma in recent years, SIDS-related deaths continue to be the third leading cause of infant deaths in the state. SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of a baby younger than one year of age that does not have a known cause even after a complete investigation.
The top three causes of infant deaths in Oklahoma are congenital malformations, disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, and SIDS. There were approximately 36 deaths in Oklahoma due to SIDS in 2019 and 1,250 nationwide.
All babies should sleep on their backs, at least through the first 12 months, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The sleep space could be a crib, Pack and Play, or bassinet. To prevent the risks of suffocation and death, the crib should have a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. There should be nothing else in the crib with your baby, such as blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads or pillows. Your baby could roll over and suffocate on these things.
Earlier this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission approved a new safety standard for products used as infant sleep spaces. This new mandatory standard will take effect mid-2022, substantially reducing potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace. Related products include inclined sleepers (which position babies at an angle greater than 10 degrees), baby boxes, infant sleep hammocks, handheld carriers, in-bed sleepers and baby loungers.
Infants exposed to smoking – either while in the womb or after birth – have a higher risk of SIDS than infants who are not exposed. Pregnant women who smoke are advised to quit, and care should be taken to keep infants away from any smoke exposure after they are born. For more information on how to quit smoking, call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).
For more information, please visit www.health.ok.gov using the keywords “safe sleep”, call James Craig at (405) 426-8089, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.