Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other infant deaths that occur during sleep are recognized as major public health concerns by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Researchers have identified risk factors in the infant sleeping environment that may contribute not only to SIDS, but to deaths from suffocation due to overlaying or entrapment. Factors associated with unsafe sleeping environments include infants sharing a sleeping surface with an adult or another child, and the presence of soft bedding.

Tips for safer sleeping include:

  • Place infants alone, on their back, lightly clothed, on a firm mattress with a tight-fitting sheet, and in an age-appropriate crib/bassinet/cradle that meets current Health Canada safety regulations.
  • Practice room-sharing (sleeping in the same room, but on a separate sleep surface) with infants for at least the first six months of life.
  • Bed-sharing (sharing a sleep surface - including bed, mattress, sofa, arm chair, couch or futon) at any time with an infant can be hazardous because of the associated risks of accidental injury or death
  • Avoid smoking near your baby - in the house, in the car or anywhere your baby sleeps or spends time.

For additional resources with more detailed information visit OACAS, Public Health Agency of Canada and the Government of Canada.