information provided by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
CHICAGO, Ill. (April 22, 2020) – Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger, and while families are spending more time at home together, Illinois DCFS reminds parents of three simple steps they can take to ensure their infants are put to sleep safely.
“It is vitally important for parents and caregivers to learn and use the ABCs of Safe Sleep,” said Illinois DCFS Acting Director Marc D. Smith. “A baby should sleep Alone, on his or her Back, in a safe Crib—it’s that simple.”
Between January 1 and June 30, 2019, 53 infants in Illinois under the age of 1 died as a result of being put to sleep unsafely, including being placed to sleep in locations other than a crib, bassinet, or pack and play; in positions other than on their back or co-sleeping with another individual at the time of death.
Infants sleep safest alone in a crib with a firm mattress and tightly-fitted sheet. The crib should be free of pillows, blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, and toys. Infants should never be put to sleep on an adult bed or couch.
“During these uncertain times, parents may rightfully be experiencing increased stress and exhaustion, so creating a safe sleep environment for their babies is more important than ever,” said Smith.