Family Health: Sleep Time Safety Tips

Health Canada has some up-to-date advice on safe sleeping practices for infants and children

By Caitlin Connelly

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Photography from Health Canada

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to ensure that your children are sleeping in a safe environment. We’re happy to see that in an attempt to help parents and caregivers become more aware of safe sleep procedures, Health Canada has released the Is Your Child Safe? Sleep Time guide. It contains the most up-to-date information on the best and safest sleep practices.

The 23-page guide includes topics like “Safe Places for Baby to Sleep,” “Sleep Accessories Unsafe for Babies,” and “Sleep Products for Toddlers and School-Age Children.”

Some of the general safety tips provided are:

  • Put your baby on his or her back to sleep, both at nap time and bedtime.
  • Your baby’s crib should be completely empty with the exception of the crib mattress and a fitted sheet.
  • It is not safe for your baby to sleep for a long time in their stroller, car seat, swing, bouncer, sling or carrier, which keep him or her in a seated or semi-reclined position. Move your baby to a crib, bassinet or cradle for their nap or overnight sleep, or once you’ve arrived at your destination.
  • When visiting family and friends, scan the surroundings for potential hazards and supervise your children closely.
  • Set up your baby’s sleeping area away from hazards like windows, patio doors, lamps, candles, electrical plugs, corded baby monitors, extension cords, and small objects.

Health Canada isn’t just concerned with sleeping safety—the Is Your Child Safe? series will also feature Play Time and Bath Time guides, both coming soon. You can find updates on the series here.

Looking for more? Here are some of our best sleep tips for babies and toddlers.

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