Suffocation Prevention

The majority of all accidental deaths for Oregon’s children under the age of one are caused by suffocation or strangulation. Most of these occur in the home.  Between 2012-2014 in Oregon, 45 children ages 0 – 19 years died due to unintentional suffocation and 33 children were hospitalized.  Of the 45 children who died, 86% (39) were under the age of 1 year.


Infants can suffocate when their faces become wedged against or buried in a mattress, pillow, infant cushion or other soft bedding or when someone in the same bed rolls over onto them.  Infants can also suffocate when their mouths and noses are covered by or pressed against a plastic bag.  Other suffocations happen when children become trapped in household appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, and toy chests.


Children can also choke on food and toys.  Cooked and soft foods that are age appropriate are encouraged.  For children 3 years and younger, all of their toys should not fit through an empty toilet paper roll.  If they are small enough to go through, they can cause choking.


Pull cords on window shades and drawstrings on clothing can also be a strangulation hazard.

Oregon Public Health Fliers

Safe Sleep for Babies


Safe Sleep for Babies – Spanish



Safe Kids Worldwide – Sleep Safety Tips


For additional Suffocation Prevention Resources visit Safe Kids Worldwide at:

Oregon Law

Cribs – Prohibits the sale of a crib at a garage sale, estate sale, or second-hand store that does not meet the safety standards established in ORS 646A.506.

Federal Crib Requirements

A Safer Generation of Cribs

All cribs sold in the United States must meet new federal requirements for overall crib safety.

5 New Federal Requirements:

  • Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be made or sold; immobilizers and repair kits not allowed
  • Wood slats must be made of stronger woods to prevent breakage
  • Crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep it from coming loose or falling off
  • Mattress supports must be more durable
  • Safety testing must be more rigorous



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