What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
(Also known as ‘crib death’)

SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant less than one year old. Most SIDS occur between the ages of 2 to 4 months, and is the leading cause of death in children from 1 month to the age of one year. Most SIDS occur at less than 6 months old. There are about 2,500 SIDS deaths a year in the United States.
Reducing the Risk of SIDS

There has yet to be a confirmed cause for SIDS. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk:

Always put your baby on his/her back to sleep. This is the number one risk reducer.
Always put you baby on his/her back to sleep, during the night and for naps. This warrants repeating. Baby’s who are put on their stomachs to nap on at VERY high risk for SIDS.
Use only firm surfaces for your baby to sleep on. Do not use a pillow, sheepskin, quilt, or soft surface. Use a safety approved crib mattress and a fitted sheet.
Keep all items away from your baby’s face. This includes blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, fluffy bumper pads. Dress your baby in clothing to keep him/her comfortable without using a blanket. If you must use a blanket, make sure it is tucked into the bottom of the crib and pulled up no higher than baby’s chest.
Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep. Keep the room at a temperature that you, as an adult, are comfortable with. You do not need to overheat a room for a baby.
NO smoking around your baby. If there is a smoker, have them go outside to smoke.
If you use a pacifier, make it a clean, dry one and do not force your baby to take it. If you are breast feeding, wait at least 1 month before offering a pacifier.
Make sure you inform anyone caring for your baby about these precautions.

Babies At Risk for SIDS

African-American babies are more than 2 times more likely to die of SIDS than white babies.
American Indian/Alaska Native babies are 3 times more likely to die of SIDS than white babies.
Babies who are placed on their stomachs or sides are more likely to die of SIDS.

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