Safe Sleep

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grants to States Program has established 15 National Performance Measures for the 2015-2017 grant cycle. Performance Measure 5 is the percent of infants placed to sleep on their backs. This evidence brief points to a selection of resources for state MCH programs about infant safe sleep, with emphasis on evidence-based information.

Significance

The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance1 defines the significance of this goal as follows:
Sleep-related infant deaths, also called Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), are the leading cause of infant death after the first month of life and the third leading cause of infant death overall. Sleep-related SUIDs include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), unknown cause, and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Due to heightened risk of SIDS when infants are placed to sleep in side (lateral) or stomach (prone) sleep positions, the AAP has long recommended the back (supine) sleep position. However, in 2011, AAP expanded its recommendations to help reduce the risk of all sleep-related deaths through a safe sleep environment that includes use of the back-sleep position, on a separate firm sleep surface (room-sharing without bed sharing), and without loose bedding. Among others, additional higher-level recommendations include breastfeeding and avoiding smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth. These expanded recommendations have formed the basis of the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Safe to Sleep Campaign®.

Read More about Performance Measure 5

Performance Measure 5

Percent of infants placed to sleep on their backs

Goal

To increase the number of infants placed to sleep on their backs.

Definition

Numerator: Mothers reporting that they most often place their baby to sleep on their back (Excludes multiple responses of back and combination with side or stomach sleep positions)

Denominator: Live births

Units: 100

Text: Percent

Healthy People 2020 Objectives

Identical to Maternal, Infant, and Child Health (MICH) Objective 20: Increase the proportion of infants placed to sleep on their backs (Baseline: 69.0%, Target: 75.9%)

Data Sources and Data Issues

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Data and Statistics

Key Websites

Policy Recommendations

Interventions

Further Reading

Related NCEMCH Resources


1Health Resources and Services Administration. 2014. Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program: Guidance and Forms for the Title V Application/Annual Report, Appendix F, p. 78.


Safe Sleep: Evidence Brief, 1st ed. (November 2014).

Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., with contributions from Jolene Bertness, M.Ed., CHES, Beth DeFrancis, M.L.S., Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., NCEMCH