An Article Written by Sandy

My hope is this articles will promote an understanding of SIDS and provide support for those who have been touched by the tragedy of SIDS. More children die of SIDS in a year than all who die of cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, child abuse, AIDS, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined..... Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant under one year of age. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between 1 and 4 months old. More boys than girls are victims, and most deaths occur during the fall, winter and early spring months. Doctors and nurses don't know what causes SIDS, but they have found some things you can do to make your baby safer.

Bedding. Make sure that your baby sleeps on a firm mattress or other firm surface. Don't use fluffy blankets or comforters under the baby. Don't let the baby sleep on a waterbed, sheepskin, a pillow, or other soft materials. When your baby is very young, don't place stuffed toys or pillows in the crib with him or her. Some babies have smothered with these soft materials in the crib.

Temperature. Babies should be kept warm, but they should not be allowed to get too warm. Keep the temperature in your baby's room so that it feels comfortable to you.

Smoke-free. Create a smoke-free zone around your baby. No one should smoke around your baby. Babies and young children exposed to smoke have more colds and other diseases, as well as an increased risk of SIDS.

Prenatal care. Early and regular prenatal care can also help reduce the risk of SIDS. The risk of SIDS is higher for babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. For your baby's well being, you should not use alcohol or drugs during pregnancy unless prescribed by a doctor.

A study done by Dr. Rachel Moon set out to prove what percentage of SIDS deaths occur in childcare settings, the findings are alarming... Over 20% percent of all SIDS deaths occur in childcare settings, of this percentage approximately 60% of the SIDS deaths in child care were found to be occurring in family child care homes. When these deaths were studied it was found that SIDS victims in childcare were twice as likely to be found on their stomachs (prone) and five times as likely to have been last placed prone, although their usual sleep position at home was on their back or side. Other studies have shown as much as an 18 times increased risk of SIDS for infants “unaccustomed” to sleeping on their stomachs. This may help to explain the high proportion of SIDS death in daycare settings. Consistency of care for babies from nighttime to naptime, and from parent to caregiver has emerged as one of the top factors in the risk reduction of SIDS.

"Although the national SIDS rate continues to decline, efforts must continue to increase public awareness of the Back To Sleep messages: Babies should always sleep on their backs on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib, bassinet or cradle, without pillows, sheepskins, quilts, stuffed toys or other soft bedding items. Babies should never share a crib, even if they are twins or siblings. And, never let babies sleep in a room where smoking is allowed, even if no one smokes while the baby is in the room. Child care providers who do not follow current recommendations for infant sleep position and bedding may be at risk of legal or licensing action if an infant dies while in their care. A new fact sheet, titled “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the Child Care Provider” has been produced by the National SIDS and Infant Death Program Support Center to educate and update care givers on Back To Sleep and other ways to reduce SIDS risk, and is available from the SIDS Alliance at 1 (800) 221-SIDS (7437). "

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