Dubois Co.– There’s nothing sweeter than a warm, snuggly baby. But no matter how tempting it may be, you should never sleep with a baby.

Every year, about 2,300 babies in the United States die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). An estimated 90% of these deaths are likely preventable by following safe sleep practices.

Prosecutor Anthony Quinn warns parents that an adult can be charged with criminal negligence or even manslaughter when co-sleeping results in the death of an infant or young child.

“It’s important that parents be well-informed of the latest safe sleeping recommendations and never, ever allow their infant or young child to sleep with them,” said Prosecutor Quinn.

Always follow the ABCs of safe sleeping: Alone, Back, Crib.

Alone – Babies should always sleep alone. Never put a baby in bed with you, another child or a twin.

Back – Babies should be placed flat on their backs to sleep.

Crib – Place the baby in a crib or play yard in the same room as the caregiver.

“Knowing and following the ABCs of safe sleeping every time is crucial to keep babies safe,” said Prosecutor Quinn. 

Along with following the ABCs, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure safe sleep:

–Use a crib, bassinet or play yard with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. Avoid sleep on a couch, armchair or baby swing or car seat (except while riding in a vehicle).

–Never put a blanket on a baby. Put them in a wearable blanket or sleep sack that allows the baby to move freely. 

–Keep loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers and other soft items out of the sleeping space.

–Breastfeed if possible and avoid smoking.

Prosecutor Quinn also warns parents to never use drugs or alcohol when caring for infants.  "We have certainly seen tragic cases due to substance use. Infants whose parent or caregiver is under the influence are at greater risk of death due to neglect and unsafe sleeping," said XXXX.  

The Safe to Sleep campaign, formerly known as Back to Sleep, aims to inform parents and caregivers about safe sleep to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

It’s important that all caregivers – not just parents – be informed about safe sleeping. This includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, childcare providers and anyone else who might care for your child. Don’t assume the caregiver knows the latest recommendations; have a conversation with them.

According to the Safe to Sleep campaign, SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between one month and one year old. The majority of SIDS deaths – 90% – occur before six months old, however a SIDS death can happen anytime during the first year of life.

“The good news is that SIDS deaths have been on the decline in the United States since 1994,” said Prosecutor Quinn. “Thousands of lives have been saved through safe sleeping campaigns.”