Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment

Pediatrics. 2022 Jul 1;150(1):e2022057990. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-057990.


Each year in the United States, ∼3500 infants die of sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision [ICD-10] R95), ill-defined deaths (ICD-10 R99), and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ICD-10 W75). After a substantial decline in sleep-related deaths in the 1990s, the overall death rate attributable to sleep-related infant deaths has remained stagnant since 2000, and disparities persist. The triple risk model proposes that SIDS occurs when an infant with intrinsic vulnerability (often manifested by impaired arousal, cardiorespiratory, and/or autonomic responses) undergoes an exogenous trigger event (eg, exposure to an unsafe sleeping environment) during a critical developmental period. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleep environment to reduce the risk of all sleep-related deaths. This includes supine positioning; use of a firm, noninclined sleep surface; room sharing without bed sharing; and avoidance of soft bedding and overheating. Additional recommendations for SIDS risk reduction include human milk feeding; avoidance of exposure to nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and illicit drugs; routine immunization; and use of a pacifier. New recommendations are presented regarding noninclined sleep surfaces, short-term emergency sleep locations, use of cardboard boxes as a sleep location, bed sharing, substance use, home cardiorespiratory monitors, and tummy time. Additional information to assist parents, physicians, and nonphysician clinicians in assessing the risk of specific bed-sharing situations is also included. The recommendations and strength of evidence for each recommendation are included in this policy statement. The rationale for these recommendations is discussed in detail in the accompanying technical report.

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia
  • Bedding and Linens
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pacifiers
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders*
  • Sudden Infant Death* / epidemiology
  • Sudden Infant Death* / etiology
  • Sudden Infant Death* / prevention & control
  • Supine Position
  • United States / epidemiology