Suffocation is a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, and 60 percent of these cases occur in a baby's sleeping environment. An infant's nose and mouth can be covered accidently by soft fluffy pillows, comforters or stuffed animals, restricting his or her ability to breathe. Keep your baby's crib as bare as possible. Use one light blanket and tuck the bottom underneath the end of the mattress to create a pocket. The blanket should only reach to the center of your baby's chest so that it can't be pulled over his head. As the weather get cooler, dress your baby in warmer pajamas instead of adding blankets, or consider using sleep sacks [source: Parents].
As children get older, talk to them about the dangers of suffocation and be diligent in providing safe areas for play. Watch out for potential hazards and find ways to make them safer, such as:
- Remove lids or locks from furniture or trunks to prevent a child from climbing inside and finding it cannot be opened from the inside
- Remove doors from old refrigerators or freezers
- Keep plastic sacks, such as grocery bags or dry cleaning wraps, out of reach
- Lock the car trunk and keep car keys hidden