The Daycare Problem No One Talks About
Few sights are more peaceful than a toddler curled up with a teddy bear or a tired baby snoozing in a crib. Sleeping children are the picture of sweetness, but even these tranquil moments can be dangerous.
The Scary Side of Nap Time
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than 3,500 babies die every year from sleep-related injuries or ailments, and many of those incidents happen in daycares. Some of these babies die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), while others suffocate in improper swaddles or suffer fatal injuries from falling out of open cribs. It’s awful to even write about these tragedies, but we feel it’s our duty because they can be prevented. Daycares could save hundreds of babies each year simply by training their staff to follow state guidelines and expert recommendations. Parents can prevent sleep injuries and deaths at home, too, by following a few simple rules.
Protecting Your Little One While They Sleep
These are a few of the basic guidelines you should always follow when putting a baby or toddler down for a nap.
• Only let your infant sleep on a flat, level surface. This is especially important for babies younger than 4 months old. Sleeping on an incline (think in a stroller, car seat, or sling) may increase a baby’s risk of SIDS.
• Never leave your child unattended in an open crib. If the crib’s gate is lowered, stay within arm’s reach to prevent falls.
• Keep your child’s crib free of blankets and toys. These items can be choking or smothering hazards.
• Avoid swaddling your baby after they’ve learned to roll over.
• Lay your baby on their back to sleep, not their stomach. Stomach sleeping may limit your baby’s access to fresh oxygen and lead to SIDS.
Daycare staff should be childcare experts who know these rules, but sometimes they fall short. If your child has been injured at daycare while sleeping or you know someone else who lost a baby that way, be sure to reach out to our team. You can also get more information by downloading our free, sharable guide, 5 Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury, linked here. If you have more questions, be sure to reach out to us. We’re here to help you and your family keep moving forward.