SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, describes an infant death with an unknown cause. While doctors and researchers may not be able to pinpoint the reason for death in SIDS cases, they have compiled a list of tips to prevent SIDS from occurring with your baby.
- Put your baby to sleep on its back. Babies put to sleep on their tummies before they are old enough to roll are at increased risk of SIDS.
- Remove all soft bedding, pillows and toys from the crib. The baby can sleep just fine on a firm mattress with no pillow.
- Do not allow smoking in the home or near the baby. Smoking, even second hand smoke, can cause an increased risk of SIDS.
- Premature babies are at increased risk for SIDS, so follow all guidelines and tips carefully to reduce this risk.
- Leave the blankets off of the baby. The baby should be kept cool at all times. Overheating can increase baby’s risk of SIDS.
- Turn on a fan. Fans move air throughout the room and have been proven to significantly reduce SIDS.
- Keep the baby healthy. Babies who have chest, lung or general infections are at higher risk of SIDS.
Very few babies die from SIDS each year. Statistics state that before doctors started recommending babies be put to sleep on their backs, more than 5,000 infants died each year from SIDS. The “Back to Sleep” Campaign strives to educate mothers on the safety issues related to stomach sleeping.
After the campaign was in full swing, the number of babies dying from SIDS each year reduced to 3,000.