learn the abc's of safe sleepParents and caregivers can rest easy knowing the steps to lower a baby’s risk for SIDS and suffocation. It's as simple as ABC. Babies should sleep "Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib." Every night. Every nap. #SafeSleep

County Executive Robert P. Astorino has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at preventing infant deaths attributed to unsafe sleep environments by promoting the “ABCs of Safe Sleep” throughout Westchester. The ABCs of Safe Sleep, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and others, are a reminder that the safest way for babies to sleep is Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib.

The bilingual campaign will include a video, county bus shelter and interior bus ads, posters and flyers that illustrate the ABCs of Safe Sleep in both English and Spanish. Westchester County will promote the campaign through its various programs and offices, in addition to its e-mail newsletter, Web site and social media platforms. The video will also be available to show in county offices and health clinics.

In addition, nonprofit partners will help distribute the information to more than 750 childcare providers and more than 3,000 parents through the Child Care Council of Westchester, as well as through the Westchester County Diaper Bank in partnership with the Junior League of Central Westchester. All materials are available to medical practices and community groups to share more broadly, as well.

About 90 infants die each year in New York from sleep related causes, according to the New York State Department of Health. Locally, the Westchester County Child Fatality Review Team reviewed nearly 80 child fatalities over the past 10 years. Since 2008, 38 percent of the cases had identified an unsafe sleeping environment. This figure climbs to 60 percent for child fatalities under the age of one. While that doesn’t mean unsafe sleep was necessarily determined to be the cause, it nevertheless was present and of concern to investigators – highlighting the need for a public education campaign.

Create a Safe Sleep Environment for your baby

"A" is for Alone:

  • Always let baby sleep alone in a crib, never in a bed with another person or pet where baby could be smothered.
  • Only have a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet in the crib.
  • No blankets, pillows, bumpers or toys.
  • Dress baby in one more layer of clothing than you.

"B" is for on baby's Back: Always let baby sleep alone in a crib with only a firm mattress, tight-fitting sheet and no blankets, pillow, bumpers or toys.

  • Always place baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • No sleeping on tummy or sides.
  • Tummy time is ofr supervised play time.
  • No pillows or wedges in crib.

"C" is for Crib:

  • Baby should sleep in a safe and separate crib or bassinet.
  • Use a tight-fitted sheet with no blankets.
  • Never allow baby to sleep on a couch.
  • No futons, chairs, waterbeds or dresser drawers.