Because of their weak neck muscles, newborn babies have difficulty lifting their head - even when their breathing passages are blocked. In this article, learn about common baby suffocation risks and how you can minimize these risks in your home before you welcome a new baby.

Protect Your Newborn Baby From Suffocation Risks In Your Home

Dangerous baby slings have been in the news this month after infant product company Infantino, LLC, recalled over one million baby slings sold in North America over the past seven years. The dangerous baby product recall followed three reports in the last year in which babies younger than four months old suffocated while their mothers carried them in the slings.

Why are newborn babies especially susceptible to suffocation in Washington? Babies who are under six months old do not have fully developed neck muscles and also have heads that are proportionally bigger than the rest of their bodies as compared to adults. If a baby’s face is pressed up against material, it has a much harder time moving away from the danger and saving themselves from suffocation.

Unfortunately, suffocation is a leading cause of death among young babies, with an estimated 5,000 deaths reported each year in the United States alone. While some of these deaths are caused by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) leading experts believe that the majority of these cases are caused by a dangerous sleeping environment that may include loose blankets and pillows, soft mattresses, mattresses that do not fit the crib, cosleeping, and other avoidable suffocation accidents.

What is the best way to decrease the risk of a suffocation accident involving your infant in Washington State?

•    Don’t cosleep with your baby especially if you are heavy sleeper, if you have taken drugs, if you have imbibed alcohol, or if you have taken a sleep aid.
•    Don’t put soft pillows, large blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib with your sleeping baby.
•    Lay your baby on his or her back to sleep.
•    Make sure your mattress fits properly and that there is no space between the mattress and the crib’s bars.
•    Check the CPSC regularly for updates on recalled baby and infant products that may pose a suffocation risk.