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THD Stresses Importance of Safe Sleep For Infants

TULSA, OK – [January 10, 2023] – In light of recently re-announced product recalls for inclined sleepers, the Tulsa Health Departments encourages parents and caregivers to review sleep environments for infants to ensure the safety of babies in Tulsa County. 

“It’s important that everyone responsible for caring for an infant is aware that all models of Rock ‘n Play sleepers have been recalled,” said Ashlee Cabrera, community system development specialist. “Tragically, approximately 100 deaths have reportedly occurred while infants were in these products. Please help spread the word to friends, family and neighbors to discontinue the use of these sleepers so we can prevent this tragedy from occurring again.” 

The Tulsa Health Department’s Maternal Child Outreach program heavily educates on SIDS awareness when meeting one-on-one with clients to emphasize that safe sleep is an important part of keeping infants healthy.

“We know that getting your baby to sleep is one of the hardest challenges that new parents face, and we want babies to sleep as safely as possible,” said Ashlee Cabrera, community system development specialist. “We’re here to support these parents through coaching and education on prevention strategies.  We also have Spanish-speaking services available.”

Families and caregivers can help reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths by doing the following:

Place baby on his or her back for all sleep times – naps and at night.
Use a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
Have the baby share your room but not your bed. The baby should not sleep on an adult bed, cot, air mattress, or couch, or on a chair alone, with anyone.
Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of baby’s sleep area.
Do not cover baby’s head or allow baby to get too hot. Know the signs the baby may be getting too hot include if he or she is sweating or if his or her chest feels hot.
Do not smoke or allow anyone to smoke around the baby.

Additionally, Congress passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act earlier this year, which bans the sale of crib bumpers and inclined sleepers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products that occurred from January 2005 through June 2019.
The Act was passed on May 16, 2022, and most stores have already pulled them, but after November 12, 2022 they will officially be considered a banned hazardous product and stores will be out of compliance if they have inclined sleepers or crib bumpers on the shelves.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended for years that babies sleep flat on their backs in an empty crib with no bumpers, soft bedding, pillows or stuffed toys, but it’s confusing when parents see beautifully decorated nurseries with crib bumpers for sale in stores,” added Cabrera. “This law will finally make the products that are available for purchase align with current safety guidelines.”
This law bans the manufacturing and sale of new products, but secondhand and hand-me-down products may still be in circulation. 

“If you buy or receive one of these older products, check for recalls at,” cautioned Cabrera. “Check for yourself that any inclined sleepers in your possession don’t have more than a ten-degree incline and just throw out crib bumpers all together.” 

Infant caregivers and service/healthcare providers can encourage safe infant sleep and help raise awareness about ways to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. This investigation includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene, and reviewing the clinical history. If they can’t find a cause for the death, and if the baby was younger than 1 year old, the medical examiner or coroner will call the death SIDS.

Since the start of the SIDS Awareness campaign in 1994 that runs every October, SIDS rates in the United States have decreased by almost 50%, both overall and within various racial/ethnic groups. However, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for U.S. infants 1 month to 1 year of age. Some populations are also at high risk for SIDS. THD’s Outreach program continues to encourage collaboration in education to families and caregivers.

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