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October: SIDS Awareness Month!

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the most common cause of death in infants up to 1 year of age. It is also the third leading cause of infant mortality. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths.

To reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death:

  • Always place the infant on his or her back for all sleep times, including naps.

  • Use a firm sleep surface such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib covered by a fitted sheet, with no other bedding or soft items in the sleep area.

  • Breastfeed your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Room share, keep infants sleep area in the same room next to where you sleep, but not the same bed. Ideally for the infants first year, but at least for the first 6 months.

  • Keep crib/sleeping area clear of soft objects, toys, bumpers, and loose bedding to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation.

  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.

  • Do not over-bundle infants to avoid overheating.

  • Infants should be immunized in accordance with recommendations of the AAP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent evidence suggests that vaccinated infants are at lower risk for SIDS.

Make sure everyone who cares for your baby knows the ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep-related infant deaths. Talk with your health care provider about any questions or challenges related to safe sleep practices for your baby. Remember: Babies sleep safest on their backs for naps and at night!

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