Many infants at risk in unsafe sleep settings, poll shows.

Report Highlights

  • 9 out of 10 parents believe that placing an infant in a crib on his/her back is a safe sleep position.
  • 7 out of 10 parents report falling asleep with their infants—some intentionally, but most unintentionally.
  • 4 out of 10 parents believe it is safe for infants to sleep in a bed with another person.

Most parents are aware of the national Back To Sleep message, but many parents still place infants in unsafe sleep settings.

baby sleepingThe nearly two decades long national back-to-sleep campaign that promotes infant safe sleep is credited with reducing the rate of sudden infant death syndrome in the United States. However, the rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) due to unsafe sleep habits has continued to climb. SUIDs currently account for 12 infant deaths per day in the United States.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents of children up to 3 years old about the sleep settings and positions for their children during infancy and their beliefs about safe sleep positions for infants. The study found that 89 percent of parents believe that placing an infant on his back in a crib is a safe sleep position. However, 40 percent of parents believe that it is safe for an infant to sleep in the same bed as another person. A similar proportion of parents report that they “often” or “sometimes” have fallen asleep with their infants.

Read the full report (PDF)

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