February 2, 2023
Annapolis, US 39 F

Infant deaths on rise in Anne Arundel County due to unsafe sleeping


SIDSThe Anne Arundel County Department of Health would like to alert the community about a recent increase in infant deaths due to accidental suffocation. Since January 2016, there have been four Anne Arundel County infant deaths identified as probable suffocation.  All were related to unsafe sleeping practices, including infants sharing a bed and sleeping under piles of blankets. 

During the 2015 calendar year, the county had two cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome); there were three SIDS cases in 2014.  In those years, the deaths were also due to accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed. 

Parents, relatives, babysitters and caregivers should be aware of the following: 

• Co-sleeping and bed sharing can be deadly. Never let your baby sleep or nap with you or other people on a bed, sofa, chair or other place.  

• Sleeping on the back is the safest for a baby.  Tummy or side sleeping can be dangerous. 

• Don’t put fluffy, loose bedding, soft toys or plastic bags in the baby’s crib.  Use a firm mattress covered by a well-fitting crib sheet.  Don’t let your baby get too hot.  Try a one-piece sleeper or a sleep sack to prevent overheating.  

Remember the ABCs of safe sleeping.  Children under the age of 1 should sleep Alone on their Backs in a safe Crib.

For more information on safe and healthy baby care, Anne Arundel County residents can visit www.aahealthybabies.org or call 410-222-7223.

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  1. I would like to know where you got this information as it is false and misleading. SIDS is NOT preventable, caused by suffocation or strangulation. I would like someone from the Anne Arundel County Health department to clarify this as I have seen this misinformation twice in the past to weeks in Anne Arundel publications (the first was the Annapolis Patch)

  2. Your article is a little confusing when you talk about SIDS and deaths due to probable suffocation. There are very different diagnoses. Suffocation is extremely difficult to diagnose unless witnessed and will not be “assumed” even after a full death scene investigation. Please do the community a service and contact Lisa Helms at the Anne Arundel County Health Department for clarification and an in depth article about this subject. Creating a safe sleep enviroment is a huge challenge to the public health community because of conflicting messages in the media and other sources.

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