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What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is when an apparently healthy infant is put to bed, and found dead either later in the night, or the next morning. SIDS is a great mystery, and much feared by parents. SIDS is fairly uncommon. It occurs at a rate of less than one death per every 1,000 births.


What Causes SIDS?

The exact cause of SIDS is unknown. However, many researchers and doctors believe that the sleeping positions of infants may play a role in SIDS. Care givers are instructed to place infants on their backs, or sides, instead of on their stomachs when sleeping. Care givers are also advised to remove all pillows, comforters, toys and stuffed animals from baby cribs.

Sleeping Positions

Placing infants on their back lessens the chance of suffocation. There is a theory that some infants are unable to lift their head off of their mattress if they become face down. Removing blankets and pillows will also decrease the chance of an infant’s face becoming lodged underneath, or into, an object and suffocating.

Rotating the sleeping position of an infant is important. If the sleeping position is not rotated, an infant’s head may become flat in one area. Alternate back and side sleeping. When placing infants on their side, make sure their lower arm is extended in front of them. This will reduce the chance of them turning onto their stomachs during their sleep. You can also rotate which side they sleep on to keep the shape of their heads healthy and normal.

There is no risk of placing an infant on their stomach when they are awake, if they have supervision. Being placed on their stomach gives babies the opportunity to strengthen their muscles, and it teaches them how to lift and lower their heads.

Care givers are advised to place a firm fitting sheet on their baby’s mattress, and nothing else. Babies can be outfitted with sleepers, or other apparel to keep them warm. Your child’s night clothes should be relevant to the temperature of their room. You should not overdress an infant, as this may cause overheating.

Crib safety tips

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