HONOLULU (KHON2) –  October is observed as Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month.

Hawaii State Department of Health is reminding parents and caregivers to make sure their infant is sleeping in a safe environment.

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Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines reminding parents to make sure their babies sleep on a flat, non-inclined surface. 

It’s important to always place your baby on their back for naptime and bedtime. AAP also discourages bed-sharing with a newborn infant. 

“There are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among US babies each year, many of which are preventable,” said Sage Goto, head of Safe Sleep Hawaii, a public-private initiative led by DOH. “The death of an infant affects everyone—parents, grandparents, siblings, and others—who all experience the grief of losing a baby.”

Infants should sleep close to their caregiver’s bed but on a separate surface designed for infants. They recommend sleeping like this for the first six months of their life. 

Make sure that the space does not have soft objects like pillows, blankets, toys or crib bumpers where your baby is sleeping. 

Offering an infant, a pacifier at naptime and bedtime can also help reduce the risk of SIDS. For more helpful information head to DOH’s website

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It is also very important to never smoke or use substances around a newborn baby. DOH reports smoking and using substances like alcohol, marijuana and other illicit drugs should be avoided during pregnancy and after birth.