SIDS Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant less than one-year-old in their sleep. The leading causes of death between 1-12 months of age are SIDS or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Ways to reduce the risk of SIDS are:

Set up a safe nursery

Your baby should sleep in a safe crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play for every sleep (naps and nighttime). Use a firm, flat crib mattress with a fitted sheet. Don’t use bumpers, blankets, pillows, or soft toys. Avoid bringing the baby into your bed because that increases the risk significantly.

What are examples of unsafe infant sleep locations?

  • Infant swings, bouncers, car seats (outside of the car), couches, chairs, and adult beds
  • Being next to, or being held by, anyone who is asleep

Put baby to bed safely.

  • Keep the room temperature comfortable, and dress your baby for that.
  • Since loose blankets are unsafe, consider a sleep sack or footed pajamas for warmth.
  • Swaddling is fine but discontinue when your baby begins to roll over. Don’t put a hat on, as babies can quickly overheat when over-bundled.
  • Always place your baby on their back for sleep. When they get a little older, they sometimes decide to sleep on their stomachs. If they can get there independently, you can let them stay, but always start them on their back.
  • Do not allow smoking around your baby. Smoke in an infant’s surroundings is a significant risk factor for SIDS.

Teach all of your baby’s caregivers about safe sleep

In 1994, the “Back to Sleep” campaign was launched. The mission was to educate parents and caregivers on ways to reduce the risk of SIDS. Today, the campaign has been renamed Safe to Sleep. Visit their site at https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/ for more educational information.

If you have questions regarding safe sleep practices for your baby, talk to your primary care provider.

Carmen Phillippi, APRN-CNP
Comanche Family Care




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