October is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) awareness month, but many expecting parents or parents of newborns are probably concerned about SIDS all year ’round. According to the HealthyChildren.org, about 3,500 babies die each year due to unsafe sleep environments. The good news is, though, that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), since the launch of their Safe to Sleep campaign in 1998, the rate of SIDS declined 44.6%. Awareness is key! Knowing what SIDS is, how to prevent SIDS, common factors that increase the risk of SIDS, along with the peak risks for SIDS are very important.
At Burdett Birth Center, we’ve written a few articles on SIDS that you can access below that are good resources for parents:
- A Few Myths and Facts About Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- AAP’s Updated Safe Sleep Guidelines: Room-Sharing to Prevent SIDS
Note that SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than one-year-old. This means that the cause is still unknown, but there are risk factors that can be prevented. One common question from parents is “When can I stop worrying about SIDS?” Of course, we know that as a parent, you will probably always worry. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the risk for SIDS peaks between 2 and 3 months of age, and the risk for SIDS is high up until the baby reaches their first birthday.
Here are a few quick tips to remember:
- Place your baby on his/her back for every sleep.
- Place your baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface.
- Place your baby to sleep in the same room where you sleep, but not the same bed.
- Keep objects, loose bedding, bumper pads, soft toys, or anything that can cause entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation outside of the crib.
At Burdett Birth Center, we support the AAP’s recommendations and encourage their use as parents take their newborns home. Speak with your Burdett Birth Center nurses, midwife, or pediatrician before leaving the hospital to be sure you have the latest advice for newborn sleeping safety, and follow up with them with any questions or concerns.