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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October is National SIDS Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, is the name for sudden and unexplained death of an infant younger than a one year old. Despite the decreases in SIDS, it has plateaued in recent years.  At the same time, other causes of sudden unexpected infant death that occur during sleep (sleep-related deaths), including suffocation, asphyxia, and entrapment, and ill-defined or unspecified causes of death have increased in incidence, particularly since 2005.

It is estimated that each year over 7,000 babies die from SIDS in the United States.  It strikes families of all races, ethnic and socioeconomic origins. Determining the cause of SIDS baffles scientist all over the world.

Ways to lower the risk for SIDS for your baby:

- Place babies on their back to sleep – This is the safest position for a baby to sleep in, placing them on their stomachs or sides nearly doubles the risk of SIDS
- Room sharing WITHOUT bed sharing.  Never sleep with your baby in the same bed, even if it’s just a day nap

- Avoid smoking cigarettes during and after your pregnancy to protect your baby from second-hand smoke
- Nothing should be in the crib with your baby. Keep soft objects, toys, blankets and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleeping area.  These items could potentially cover your baby’s face and cause suffocation

- Place your baby on a firm surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress cover with a fitted sheet
- Breastfeeding your baby

- Using a pacifier at sleep time
- Keep immunizations up to date to avoid illness

- Avoid letting your baby get overheated during sleep.   Dress your baby in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult
For more information about Safe to Sleep visit:

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