Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Working with Families to Promote Safe Sleep for Infants 0-12 Months of Age

Type of Guideline: 
Publish Date: 
About this Guideline:

This guideline has been developed to address the question of how health-care providers can partner with families to promote safe sleep for infants 0-12 months of age to reduce known risk factors for injury and death. It provides evidence-based recommendations for nurses and the interprofessional team who provide care, in all health-care settings, to parents/caregivers and families of infants. This guideline is intended to be applicable to all nursing domains, including clinical, administration, and education.

The focus of this guideline was narrowed over the course of its development. The initial purpose was to provide recommendations to promote safe sleep among infants aged 0-24 months. However, because most of the evidence identified in the literature search focused on safe sleep for infants aged 0-12 months, the scope of the review was narrowed to focus on this particular age group. Moreover, while the RNAO expert panel had hoped to provide recommendations to prevent both unexpected injury and death during sleep, most of the evidence identified in the literature search focused solely on unexpected death. As a result, we did not undertake a comprehensive literature review regarding the topic of unexpected injuries during sleep. However, where we could, we have included some discussion regarding how the recommendations in this guideline will also help to prevent injuries.