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(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Every year, about 3,400 infants in the United States die from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), which includes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), unknown cause, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB). The good news is that since the 1990s, the SUID rate has decreased but still remains one of the leading causes of death in infants. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) supports continued reduction in the rate of SUIDs by promoting Safe Sleep practices. October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month and is a time to spread the word to parents & caregivers about safe infant sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends following these practices for Safe Sleep:

  • Infants should be placed on their back for every sleep and nap
  • Infant should be in their own sleep space
  • Infants should be on a firm, non-inclined surface with no extra blankets, toys, pillows, or other soft objects in their bed
  • Breastfeed if possible
  • It is recommended that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first 6 mo.
  • Make sure baby does not overheat
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and illicit drugs If you have any questions, or for more resources you can check out these sites: Or call the Santa Barbara County SIDS Coordinator at 800-288-8145


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