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Safe Sleep Awareness: Keeping Babies Safe while Sleeping is as Easy as A-B-C

Safe Sleep for Babies

The Healthy Start Coalition Safe Sleep Task Force works year-round to educate local parents about safe sleep practices, especially during Safe Sleep Awareness Month each October. Sleep-related deaths are consistently one of the leading causes of death in children under 1 in Polk, but they are 100% preventable.

By remembering a few simple sleep safety tips, you can create a safe place for your baby to sleep and nap. Even if you don’t have an infant in your own home, you can still help make a difference in our community by being informed and sharing the information with your friends and family members who have new babies.

Safe Sleep for Infants

Infant Safe Sleep Guidelines

To remember safe sleep practices for infants, just think of A-B-C. The safest place for a baby to sleep is Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep only on their back for every sleep by every caregiver until the child is one year of age.
  • Infants should be placed on a flat surface, alone in their crib, bassinet, or play yard, and on their backs.
  • There should be no crib bumper pads, pillows, loose bedding, stuffed animals, or other soft bedding surfaces in the crib with the infant. All sheets should be tight fitting. {We know nursery decorations and stuffed animals are super-cute – but keep them on the walls and OUTSIDE of the crib}
  • Parents and caregivers should never share a bed with the infant. Room sharing is encouraged, but bed sharing can be dangerous.
  • Caregivers responsible for the infant should never be under the influence of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.

See the infographic below for more tips on how to provide a safe sleep area for your baby to sleep safely.

Safe Sleep Guidelines Alone Back Crib

What is Safe Sleep Awareness?

Safe sleep awareness is focused on educating all parents about the importance of safe sleep for babies. The goal is to reduce the risk and prevent infant deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, or other unsafe sleeping conditions. Safe sleep education aims to teach new moms, new dads, and caregivers about what they can do in order to keep their infant safe when sleeping during naptime and overnight.

Safe Sleep for Babies

Polk County Safe Sleep Task Force

Polk County recognizes that this is a serious, but preventable issue. Together we can ensure all caregivers have access to education and resources on safe sleep practices. For more safe sleep resources, visit You can also talk to your pediatrician about safe sleep practices for your baby.

If you or someone you know are interested in participating in the Safe Sleep Task Force, please contact Tonya Akwetey at

Pregnancy + New Mom Guide

Check out our Pregnancy + New Mom Guide for Lakeland and Polk County to find OB/GYN doctors, midwives, hospitals, high-risk providers, and other resources for pregnancy and childbirth, plus information for brand new moms.