09-30-2011 (Dayton, OH) -
October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants aged one to 12 months, and is the third leading cause overall of infant mortality in the United States.
Parents and caregivers need to be aware of the tips on how to prevent your child from being a victim of SIDS. There are over 2,500 infants that pass away every year from SIDS.
“A tragic sleep accident could happen to any family, so do everything possible to try to prevent one,” says Thomas Krzmarzick, MD, medical director of the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center at The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton.
Some risk factors include:
- Placing baby on his or her stomach to sleep
- Soft surfaces
- Mother smoking during pregnancy
- Late or no prenatal care
- Young mothers
- Premature birth, low birth weight and male gender
“One of the most important things for parents and caregivers to remember is to be responsible for their baby’s sleep safety,” says Dr. Krzmarzick.
The experts at Dayton Children’s and the American Academy of Pediatrics provide eight basic tips for parents and caregivers on how to keep babies safe at night.
- Back to sleep. Infants should be placed on their back for every sleep. To avoid positional plagiocephaly (flat back of head), give your baby plenty of tummy time when he or she is awake.
- Use a firm sleep surface.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib. These include quilts, comforters, plush toys, sheepskins, etc.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy. Keeping your infant away from secondhand smoke is also important.
- A separate, but close sleeping arrangement. The AAP does not recommend adults share a bed with an infant for sleeping.
- Consider a pacifier at naptime and bedtime. Use the pacifier when your baby is first put to bed. Don’t put it back in if it falls out while the child is sleeping.
- Avoid overheating. Babies should wear light clothing and the bedroom temperature should be comfortable.
- Be sure to tell your babysitter, child care provider, family members, etc. of these recommendations.
For more information, contact:
Injury Prevention Manager
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