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By Jill Katz, Sudden Infant and Child Death Resource Center

Sleep-related infant death is preventable. Most involve suffocation combined with an unsafe sleep condition. Infants from 1-6 months old are vulnerable and infants from 2-4 months old are most at risk. In NYC, these preventable deaths are occurring at the rate of approximately 1 death per week. A majority of the deaths are happening in the Bronx and Brooklyn in low income areas. There are ways parents can reduce the risk.


  • must sleep on their back
  • must sleep in a crib or bassinet
  • should never sleep in an adult bed
  • must sleep on a firm mattress and fitted sheet in the crib
  • should never sleep with bumpers, pillows, blankets or compressible toys in the crib

In addition, parents should maintain a smoke free zone around the baby. Breastfeeding is best but it is important to do it safely. The mother should be upright, alert and awake!

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