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Safe Sleep

Approximately 3,500 infants die of sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.[1] Of the infant deaths reviewed by Child Death Review Teams in Pennsylvania, 59 (18.8%) of the 314 reviewed deaths from 2020 were sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) related cases. The causes of death for the SUID-related cases include pending, unknown/undetermined, unintentional asphyxia, and SIDS. In Pennsylvania, black or African American infants die of SUID at more than twice the rate of white infants.[2]

Of the 59 SUID cases, 36 (61.0%) occurred when the child was placed to sleep in an unsafe sleep location and in 22 of the 36 cases the unsafe sleep location was an adult bed. In a majority of the SUID related deaths (61.0%) a safe sleep environment was available at the time of the death.2


[1] Evidence Base for 2022 Updated Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment to Reduce the Risk of Sleep-Related Infant Deaths | Pediatrics | American Academy of Pediatrics (

[2] 2020 Child Death Review Annual Report (

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