Skip Navigation
A-Z Topics · Directory
  Print Page

 Safe to Sleep Public Education Campaign

SIDS: Safe to SleepThe Safe to Sleep campaign—formerly known as the Back to Sleep campaign—aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Safe to Sleep is an expansion of the original Back to Sleep campaign, which started in 1994. Back to Sleep was named for its recommendation to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep, the most effective action that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of SIDS. Since that campaign started, the percentage of infants placed on their backs to sleep has increased dramatically, and the overall SIDS rates have declined by more than 50 percent (PDF - 49 KB).

The expanded Safe to Sleep campaign builds on the success and reach of the Back to Sleep campaign. In addition to strategies for reducing the risk of SIDS, Safe to Sleep also describes actions that parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as suffocation.

Safe to Sleep campaign collaborators include the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Reproductive Health; the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); First Candle; and the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs (ASIP).

The safe sleep strategies outlined in Safe to Sleep materials and publications are based on recommendations defined by the AAP Task Force on SIDS. The Task Force released expanded guidelines in October 2011. Please visit Safe Sleep for All Babies to learn more about these recommendations.

Based on the AAP Task Force recommendations, parents and caregivers can make changes to their babies’ sleep environment to make it safer and to reduce the risk for SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. The photo on the right shows a safe infant sleep environment.

For Pharmacists! The NICHD offers the SIDS Risk Reduction: Continuing Education (CE) Activity for Pharmacists for CE credit hours or CE units.

The CE Program on SIDS Risk Reduction: Curriculum for Nurses is also available, as well as dissemination materials for nursing CE partners.

For More Information

If you have questions about the Safe to Sleep campaign or its materials, please contact the NICHD Information Resource Center at To order materials by phone, please call 1-800-505-CRIB (2742), (TTY: 1-888-320-6942).

Last Updated Date: 10/03/2012
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Epidemiology Statistics and Prevention Branch Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology