October is SIDS Awareness Month
October is SIDS Awareness Month. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a condition that causes the death of many infants. At Center for Family Medicine, we equip parents with ways to reduce the condition by encouraging safe sleep.
What is SIDS?
SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby below the age of one that cannot be explained through in-depth investigations, including an autopsy and medical history examination. According to the CDC, these deaths often happen during sleep or in the baby’s sleep area. This is one of the most common causes of unexplained deaths among infants.
Recommendations for SIDS Risk Reduction
There are several precautions you can take in order to reduce the risk of SIDS:
- Always place your infant on their back for sleep
- Exclusively breastfeed your infant for the first six months
- Sleep near your baby
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or when breastfeeding your infant. Discourage any smoking in your home
- Avoid swaddling during sleep time, as it increases the risk of the baby overheating
- Do not use chairs and couches for nighttime feeding
- All surfaces that your baby sleeps on need to be safe. These include playpens, cribs, cots, and your bed (if you fall asleep while feeding). A safe surface includes:
- Well-fitting sheets
- Firm mattress
- No pillows or blankets
- No bumper pads
- Use only equipment approved and designated for infant sleep
- No surface that can entrap an infant
- No pets or toys sharing the same sleep surface
Safe To Sleep Campaign
The Safe to Sleep Campaign seeks to spread awareness of SIDS and reduce infant death rates through educational outreach. This movement helps educate parents, caregivers, babysitters, and health care providers on SIDS. The campaign engages different outreach activities, partnerships, and collaborations to promote safe infant sleep.
A healthy pregnancy with prenatal care and regular doctor visits for your baby can help reduce the risk of SIDS. Center for Family Medicine is here for you through all steps of your pregnancy and after delivery. Meet with a CFM physician today to learn more about caring for your baby and for more information on SIDS.