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Sleep position is an important safety issue for infants younger than 1 year. This is because sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is associated with infants sleeping on their tummies. Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for infants younger than 1 year. It most commonly occurs in babies between the ages of 2 and 4 months. Despite more than 15 years of the “back to sleep” educational campaign, some parents still are not provided with appropriate education about the safest sleep position for babies.
About 1 in 5 deaths from SIDS happen when an infant is being cared for by someone other than a parent. Many of these deaths occur when babies who are used to sleeping on their backs are then placed to sleep on their tummies by another caregiver. This is called unaccustomed tummy sleeping. This is dangerous because babies who are used to sleeping on their backs and are put to sleep on their tummies are almost 20 times more likely to die of SIDS.
Infant Sleep Position: Back to Sleep. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163(12):1168. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.230
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