Washoe County dedicates October to safe sleeping for infants

Now, officials are asking people to remember the ABC’s of safe sleep for infants
A sleeping infant
A sleeping infant(MGN)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 10:36 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County Human Services Agency is declaring October as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month.

They’re using the month as an opportunity to remind the community of the importance of safe sleep practices.

According to the county, unsafe sleeping practices are the leading cause of death among infants under the age of one in Washoe County. 26 such deaths have been reported from 2018 to 2022, all the result of unsafe sleeping conditions.

Now, officials are asking people to remember the ABC’s of safe sleep for infants; Alone, on its Back, and in a Crib.

They also advise the following:

  • Infants should be placed on a firm mattress
  • Have a tightly fitted sheet
  • No other items, such as toys, pillows or blankets in the sleep area

Infants less than a year old can die due to suffocation from sleeping in an adult bed or on other dangerous sleep surfaces like couches, armchairs or pillows due to the fact that their neck muscles have yet to fully develop.

“As death investigators, we know that losing a child is devastating,” said Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner Dr. Laura Knight. “When that death was preventable, it is even more heartbreaking. Parents and caregivers have the power to prevent unsafe sleep-related infant deaths by ensuring their baby always has a safe place to sleep, which is alone in a crib or pack-and-play, without other items, and always on their back.  Sleep sacks are a wonderful alternative to blankets, and babies don’t need stuffed animals, crib bumper pads or anything else in the crib to sleep.”