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Health Indicator Report of Infant Safe Sleep

About 3,400 babies in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly every year while sleeping. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age. Most SIDS deaths are associated with sleep. SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) 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 remained steady. 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 Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Prevalence of infant sleeping position on back, by maternal age, Utah, 2020-2021


*Use caution in interpreting; the estimate has a coefficient of variation > 30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards. **This estimate has been supressed because the number of respondents in the category was too small and therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards.

Data Source

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)


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


Number of mothers who reported their newborn infant most often sleeps on his or her back.


Number of Utah residents who gave birth to live infant.

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 2030 Objectives: MICH-D03: Increase the proportion of infants who are put to sleep in a safe sleep environment (developmental objective)

How Are We Doing?

In 2021, Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data showed 85.7% of infants were most often put to sleep on their backs (recommended). This is a decrease from 87.5% in 2020. During 2020 - 2021, 43.4% reported their babies did not always sleep alone in their own crib or bed and 54.4% said their babies slept with blankets, toys, cushions, or pillows, including nursing pillows (not recommended).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

According to the most recently available U.S. PRAMS data (2020), 79.5% of infants were most often put to sleep on their backs.

What Is Being Done?

The Safe to Sleep Campaign led by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) addresses SUID which includes all unexpected infant deaths: those due to SIDS, and those from other causes like accidental suffocation and entrapment. The 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

SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Evidence Base for 2016 Updated Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) #Place infants on their back to sleep (supine) for every sleep period until they are 1 year old. This position does not increase the risk of choking and aspiration. # Use a firm sleep surface. # Breastfeeding is recommended. # Infants should sleep in the parents' room, close to the parents' bed but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for the first year, but at least for the first six months. # Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the infant's sleep area. # Consider offering a pacifier at naptime and bedtime. # Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth. # Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth. # Avoid overheating and head covering in infants. # Pregnant women should obtain regular prenatal care. # Infants should be immunized according to the recommended schedule. # Avoid using commercial devices that are inconsistent with safe sleep recommendations, such as wedges and positioners. # Don't use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce SIDS risk. # Supervised tummy time while the infant is awake can help development and minimize positional plagiocephaly. # There is no evidence to recommend swaddling to reduce the risk of SIDS. # Health care professionals and staff in newborn nurseries and neonatal intensive care units as well as child care providers should endorse and model recommendations to reduce SIDS risk. # Media and manufacturers should follow safe sleep guidelines in messaging and advertising. # Continue the Safe to Sleep campaign, focusing on ways to further reduce sleep-related deaths. # Research and surveillance should continue on all risk factors.

Available Services

Baby Your Baby[[br]] [][[br]][[br]] CDC Safe Sleep for Babies [][[br]] ==Information and referrals== National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention [][[br]] *Utah State Profile: [][[br]] [[br]] Sudden Death in the Young Registry []

Health Program Information

As part of the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Case Registry, the CDC Division of Reproductive Health supports SUID monitoring programs in 22 states and jurisdictions (including Utah) covering about 1 in 3 SUID cases in the United States. Participating states and jurisdictions work to improve data quality on SUID cases. This effort leads to a better understanding of circumstances that may increase the risk of SUID.
Page Content Updated On 01/24/2023, Published on 02/02/2023
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 Sat, 30 September 2023 14:23:41 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 2 Feb 2023 08:01:19 MST