SIDS is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted. There are about 4,200 cases of sudden unexpected infant deaths per year in the United States, half are caused by SIDS.
There are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night, to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet, to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
- Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area.
- To reduce the risk of SIDS, do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
- Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS.
To learn more about creating a safe sleeping environment, visit Safe to Sleep. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx
If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a baby, the following organizations may offer support.
- CJ Foundation for SIDS – http://www.cjsids.org/
- Compassionate Friends – http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx
- First Candle – http://www.firstcandle.org/grieving-families/
- MISS Foundation and Alliance of Grandparents Against SIDS Tragedy (AGAST) – http://www.missfoundation.org/
- Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc. – http://www.nationalshare.org/