A Problem in L.A. County

Suffocation while bed-sharing and in unsafe sleeping environments, like a cluttered crib, continues to be the leading preventable cause of infant death in L.A. County.


In L.A. County, babies are dying from preventable deaths

In L.A. County, there are more sleep-related deaths than all other accidental child deaths. These deaths are completely preventable.

Accidental suffocation is the greatest risk for babies under age 1. These deaths are silent and quick. It just takes seconds for a baby to suffocate.

Babies are small, without voices and have no strength. For the first 3-4 months, they can only breathe through their nose. A baby's nose–unlike an adult's–doesn't have cartilage, so it can flatten easily and block airflow, causing suffocation.

Causes of Accidental Child Deaths
L.A. County, Ages 0-14 – 2011



Babies under the age of 1 year can suffocate while:

  • Sharing a bed with parents, siblings, and/or pets.
  • Sleeping in a cluttered crib or bassinet.
  • Sleeping on their side or stomach.
  • Sleeping on unsafe sleep surfaces like couches, chairs, soft surfaces, or in unfamiliar places.


Representation of All Unsafe Sleep Deaths in L.A. County by Ethnicity and Location

Data from the L.A. County Department of Coroner have helped the campaign focus on the geographic areas and the ethnicities with the highest incidences of infant deaths due to unsafe sleep practices.

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