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Health Indicator Report of Infant Safe Sleep

Research has shown that placing babies on their backs to sleep is the most effective action that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Indicator of whether baby is most often laid on his or her back to sleep.

Prevalence of Infant Sleeping Position on Back, Utah and Other States, 2010


New York data do not include New York City.

Data Source

CPONDER - CDC's PRAMS On-line Data for Epidemiologic Research


Percentage of women who reported their newborn infants sleep on their backs.


Number of new mothers who reported that their newborn infant sleeps on his or her back.


Number of Utah women with a live birth.

Healthy People Objective MICH-20:

Increase the proportion of infants who are put to sleep on their backs
U.S. Target: 75.9 percent

Other Objectives

HP 2020 Objective MICH 1.8: Reduce the rate of infant deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). U.S. Target: 0.5 deaths per 1,000 live births.

How Are We Doing?

The majority of Utah infants are placed on their back to sleep. In 2011, Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data revealed that 80.1% of infants were put to sleep on their backs. This measure is up from 77.7% in 2010. However, Utah is lacking data on other safe sleep indicators such as co-sleeping behaviors and other items in the crib.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Out of the 27 PRAMS states with 2010 data (the most recent data year available nationally), Utah reported one of the higher percentages of infants sleeping on their backs (81.3%). Prevalence ranged from 65.0% (Georgia) to 85.6% (Colorado). The number of sleep-related infant deaths, however, that aren't from SIDS has risen dramatically over the last decade. The rates of suffocation, strangulation, entrapment, and asphyxia have increased, often resulting from unsafe sleep environments for infants.

What Is Being Done?

Since the Back to Sleep Campaign began in 1994, with the American Academy of Pediatrics encouraging caregivers to place their babies on their backs to sleep, the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped over 50% in the United States. The Back to Sleep Campaign has since been renamed the Safe to Sleep Campaign. This campaign will now address SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) which includes all unexpected infant deaths: those due to SIDS, and those from other causes like accidental suffocation and entrapment. As the rate of SIDS has decreased, the rate of SUID has increased. The new Safe to Sleep campaign emphasizes placing an infant on his or her back to sleep as well as other ways to provide a safe sleep environment for infants. These include using a firm sleep surface, placing infants in their own sleep environment and not on an adult bed, couch or chair, and ensuring no blankets, quilts, or other soft bedding is present in the infant bed. This includes keeping toys, crib bumpers, positional wedges, and soft sheepskins out of an infant's sleep area. The Safe to Sleep campaign recommends that infants sleep alone, not with an adult or anyone else. Safe to Sleep also emphasizes prenatal care, breastfeeding, the use of a pacifier when putting infant down to sleep, daily supervised tummy time, and immunization. Safe to Sleep advises avoidance of the following: infant exposure to tobacco smoke, mother's use of alcohol and other drugs, and use of commercial sleep devices (positioners, wedges).

Evidence-based Practices

The American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 report includes the following evidence based recommendations: * Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time. * Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep. * The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing). * Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads. * Wedges and positioners should not be used. * Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care. * Don't smoke during pregnancy or after birth. * Breastfeeding is recommended. * Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. * Avoid covering the infant's head or overheating. * Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. * Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations. * Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).

Available Services

Utah SIDS Alliance PO Box 1444 Sandy, UT 84091 National toll free 1-800-221-SIDS (7437) A free support group for parents. Baby Your Baby Information and referrals

Health Program Information

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Reproductive Health The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) First Candle The Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs (ASIP)
Page Content Updated On 06/20/2013, Published on 10/15/2013
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 30 May 2016 21:56:30 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:16 MDT