Safe sleep has become a focus of attention nationwide but especially in Maine. Each day in this country, infants are placed in unsafe sleeping environments, which can lead to injury or death.

Parents often receive different messages from medical personnel, internet sites and family members. Some people remind new parents that years ago, it was recommended to place infants in a parent’s bed or on their belly to sleep.

However, the vast body of research into preventing sudden unexplained infant deaths strongly supports placing infants on their back to sleep.

Everyone knows the ABCs, but the ABCs of safe sleep are new to most: Alone, on my Back, in my Crib.

Safe sleep ABCs emphasize the safest way for an infant to sleep throughout their first year of life, not only for nighttime sleep but for all sleep. Every new parent should feel empowered to not only practice safe sleep for their infant but to teach everyone that cares for the infant how to keep them safe.

Garbrielle Harpell, M.D.

pediatric hospitalist

MaineGeneral Medical Center

Augusta

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