Sleep-related deaths kill thousands of babies annually without a clear cause, but there are new ways to reduce infants’ risk by providing a safe sleep environment, according to new recommendations.

“SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” a new policy statement released Oct. 24 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, covers new research and preventive measures that can help reduce sleep-related risks to infants.

Sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome, account for about 3,500 child deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SIDS is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year old for reasons that remain undetermined. Rates of SIDS deaths have decreased substantially since the 1990s, thanks to the national Back to Sleep campaign, but in recent years they have remained generally stagnant.

Visit The Nation’s Health online to continue reading this story from the Jan. 2017 issue.