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Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation during Infant Sleep (Text Alternative)

Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed, or ASSB, occurs when something limits a baby’s breathing like when soft bedding or blankets are against their face or when a baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and wall. Among babies, accidental suffocation is responsible for three quarters of all unintentional injury deaths.

More than 85 of all deaths from Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed occur in the first 6 months of life.

Graphic: This is a bar graph demonstrating that the majority of all deaths from Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in bed occur in the first 6 months of life. The X axis represents age in months, ranging from 1 to 12 months, and the Y axis represents the percentage of deaths, ranging from 0 to 30 percent. At month 1, deaths are around 14%. There is a significant increase at month 2, which is around 25%, but then the percentage slowly tapers off: Month 3 is around 20%, month 4 is around 13%, month 5 is around 9%, month 6 is around 6%. months 7 to 12 all fall below the 5% mark.

Most of these deaths occur in the first 3 months of life.

Deaths from ASSB are less common in babies older than 6 months.

Follow safe sleep recommendations until baby’s first birthday to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Learn more http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov

To reduce the risk of Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed:

  • Always place baby on his or her back to sleep for all sleep times, including naps.
    Graphic: Image of a baby on its back.
  • Room share—keep baby’s sleep area in the same room next to where you sleep.
    • Baby needs his or her own sleep area and should not sleep on a couch, chair, or adult bed. Graphic: Image of a baby on its back in a crib next to a mother sleeping in her own bed.
  • Use a firm sleep surface that is free from soft objects, toys, blankets, and crib bumpers.
    Graphic: Image of a baby on its back in an empty crib.

Graphic: Safe to Sleep 20th Anniversary logo.

Graphic: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo.

Graphic: The National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver national institute of child health and human development logo.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MMWR 2012; 61(15):270-276. Technical Report of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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