Safe Sleep & Preventing SIDS
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) refers to the sudden unexplained death of an infant when all other causes of death have been ruled out, including underlying health problems that parents may not have been aware of at the time of the tragedy. The tragedy of SIDS has become synonymous with parents who leave their infant sleeping in his/her crib, only to return and find them lifeless. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old and claims the lives of about 3,500 babies each year in the United States.
The following safe sleep advice can reduce the risk of SIDS:
Put infants to sleep on their backs, even though they may sleep better on their stomachs.
Put infants to sleep on a firm mattress.
No blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals, etc. should be in the crib when an infant is sleeping.
Make sure the infant does not have on too much extra clothing while sleeping, as overheating increases the chances of SIDS.
Never place an infant in an adult bed.
Do not fall asleep with your baby on the couch or in a chair.
Avoid exposing the baby to smoke, as this increases an infant’s chances of SIDS.
Using a pacifier lowers the risk of SIDS.
If your baby gags excessively after spitting up or has spells during which they appear to have difficulty breathing, inform your doctor, as their risk of SIDS may be higher.
Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website for more information.