Push to have all babies sleep on back

Effort to curb sudden infant death syndrome

Three years after an awareness campaign to curb sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) began in 1994, incidences have dropped by 30%. Using brochures and other educational materials, parents were instructed to place babies age one-month to one year on their backs or sides rather than on their stomachs. The recommendation came from The American Academy of Pediatrics when research in Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand showed that the incidence of SIDS dropped 50% when babies were placed on their backs to sleep.

"At the beginning of the campaign, 70% of parents were putting babies on their stomachs at bedtime. Now, 70% place the babies on their backs," says Ruth Dubois, campaign coordinator with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD.

Now the campaign, titled "Back to Sleep," is pushing to educate all parents and people who care for children in an effort to have 100% of babies placed on their backs at bedtime.

To order pamphlets, posters, and videos call (800) 505-2742. Pamphlets are currently available in English and Spanish. Spanish edition videos will be available soon. There is no charge for the materials.