Providing a Safe Sleeping Environment For Your Child

Jenn Kelner, CPA, CA
Certified Child Sleep Consultant

October is SIDS Awareness Month, so let’s review how we can provide a safe sleeping environment for our children and the children we care for.

What is SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. We do not fully understand the causes of SIDS, but research has identified certain risk factors associated with SIDS.

How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Here are a list of ways that you can provide a safe sleeping environment for your child and reduce the risk of SIDS:


Follow ABCs of Safe Sleep
● Alone – on a separate sleeping surface from other people or pets, without blankets, pillows, bumper pads, toys, or other soft items.
● on their Back – not on their side or tummy.
● in their Crib – not on an adult bed, waterbed, arm chair, sofa or other soft bedding.

Ensure Baby’s Crib is Safe
Ensure your baby’s crib or bassinet is in good condition and is assembled properly. For information on crib standards, read the Health Canada safety standards. The mattress should be firm, flat, and fits the crib properly with no gaps between the mattress and the rails. The crib sheet should fit the mattress snugly.

Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding has shown to provide some protection against SIDS.

Cool Temperature
Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS, so keep the room a cool, comfortable temperature, and ensure baby’s head is uncovered.

Ensure the Baby’s Environment is Smoke Free
Having baby sleep in a smoking environment has shown to increase the risk of SIDS. Have guests and family members smoke outside.