Health Canada

Health Canada

March 23, 2009 15:44 ET

Health Canada Advises the Canadian Public That the Safest Place for a Baby to Sleep is in a Crib

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2009) - Health Canada reminds parents and caregivers that the safest place for an unsupervised baby to sleep is alone in a crib. Babies and young children should never be placed to sleep in products that are not specifically designed to accommodate an unattended sleeping baby, such as car seats, strollers and change tables.

Health Canada was recently informed of two separate baby deaths in which the babies were found face down on playpen accessories. In addition, Health Canada recently received a report of the death of a baby who had been placed to sleep in a car seat.

Parents are advised to follow these important safety tips:

- For unsupervised sleeping, an infant must always be placed on his/her back and alone in a crib.

- The crib must be completely empty, with the exception of the crib's (tight-fitting) mattress and its fitted cover sheet.

- Only place one light infant blanket over the child and tuck the edges under the crib's sides. The blanket must only cover the child up to the chest.

- In the crib, an infant should wear only his/her diaper and sleeper.

The Department further reminds parents and caregivers that babies should never be placed to sleep on change table accessories that attach to playpens. Blankets, pillows or an extra mattress should also never be added to a playpen because the use of these items could lead to suffocation. When using playpen attachments, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for assembly and use. It is important to make sure that the product is assembled correctly before using it.

Babies should not be placed to sleep in products that keep them in an upright position, such as strollers and car seats, for long periods of time. It is not safe for babies to be in a seated position to sleep. When asleep, babies' heads can fall forward due to their under-developed muscles and their airways can become constricted. Once your destination is reached, the safest place to move a baby to sleep is a crib.

To be sold, advertised or imported in Canada, cribs must meet the safety requirements of the Hazardous Products Act's Cribs and Cradles Regulations. Cribs made before September 1986 do not meet current safety regulations and should not be used. It is a criminal offence to advertise, sell or give away non-compliant cribs.

For more safety tips, please see our Consumer Bulletin on Safe Sleep Practices for Infants (

For more information on crib requirements in Canada, as well as the safe use of cribs, visit Health Canada's Crib Safety - Booklet (

For further information, consumers may contact the Health Canada Product Safety office by phone at 1-866-662-0666 toll-free, or by email at (if contacting via e-mail, please indicate the province or territory from which you are corresponding).

Egalement disponible en francais.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    Public Inquiries: