NATIONAL SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the unexpected death of a child under 1 year old, without an obvious cause of death before investigation. About 3,700 infants died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, (SIDS) or other sleep-related deaths in 2015, according to the CDC. It is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1 year. SIDS is every parent’s worst nightmare, but there are several things you can do to prevent the sudden loss of a child. Here are some things you should make sure you’re doing all year long when you have a new baby in the house, according to the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Place a baby on his or her back when you are putting them to bed. Make sure to do this at all times. It’s a common mistake that parents think placing a child on their back to sleep may cause them to choke on spit-up, but their gag reflex will wake them up and stop them from choking. If a child sleeps on their stomach, they are more likely to breathe in less air.
- Use a firm sleep surface, like a mattress in a safety approved crib. Put a tightly fitted sheet over the mattress. It’s very important That you keep toys, even cuddly teddy bears, out of the crib while the infant sleeps. The less that’s in the crib, the less chance there is of suffocation when a baby is rolling around in their sleep.
- The baby can share your room, but not your bed. Even though it may be tempting to snuggle your little one at all hours of the night, accidental suffocation and strangulation can happen quite easily if you share a bed. Sharing a bed may increase the chance of SIDS by about 50%.
- Dress your baby in cozy sleep clothing instead of using a blanket.
- DO NOT allow smoking around your baby. Smoke in an infant’s surroundings is a major risk factor for SIDS.
Use #SIDSAwarenessMonth to post any advice you have for new parents on social media. You can also use the hashtag to offer your condolences with families who have lost a child to SIDS.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has been pushing for research to better understand SIDS for decades… which is what eventually started National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month.
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