With cold winter weather upon us, the New York City Administration for Children's Services is lending a helping hand to families, distributing free, wearable baby blankets at each of its 16 city locations in an effort to ensure the youngest New Yorkers are kept safe during the season's chill. Read on to learn more about the program and where you can pick up a free wearable sleeping blanket for your infant.
ACS aims to educate parents on safe sleeping practices.
The blankets are being provided as part of the agency's Safe Sleep campaign, which aims to educate parents on safe sleeping practices for infants. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 3,500 babies die every year from SIDS and sleep-related accidents such as suffocation. Current sleep safety guidelines for babies under the age of one are to put infants down to sleep on their backs, on a firm sleeping surface with no "extras" in the crib such as blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals.
"Parents with infants need to know how they can put their babies to sleep in a way that will keep them both safe and warm," said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell. "The truth is: What’s safe for adults in cold temperatures—quilts, comforters and cozy beds—is NOT safe for babies. Instead, to keep babies warm, parents should dress their infants in an extra layer of clothing or in a wearable blanket."
ACS has pick-up locations throughout NYC.
Beyond utilizing the free blankets, parents are reminded to follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep: All infants should sleep alone, on their backs, and in a safety-approved crib.
ACS offices are located in each of the City's boroughs; a complete list can be found online.
Photos and graphics courtesy of ACS