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Oct. 25, 2010

October Is SIDS Prevention Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained. SIDS is a leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age, said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Director of Public Health for the Oswego County Health Department. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between two and four months of age.

The cause of SIDS is unknown. Research is ongoing to learn more about what causes SIDS.

"What we do know are ways that we can reduce the risk of SIDS," said Dr. Norfleet. "There are several steps that parents can take to lower a baby's risk."

Dr. Norfleet advises parents and caregivers to:

  • Place the baby on his or her back to sleep for naps and at night.

  • Use a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet.

  • Make sure blankets do not cover the baby's head. Use sleep clothing, such as a one-piece sleeper, instead of a blanket.

  • Remove pillows, quilts, sheepskins, bumpers, stuffed toys, and loose bedding from the baby's sleep area.

  • A baby is safest sleeping in a crib or bassinet near the parent's bed. Babies should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children.

  • Don't let a baby get too hot from wearing too many clothes or covers.

  • Make sure no one smokes in the home or around the baby.

  • Try using a pacifier when placing an infant to sleep but don't force the baby to take it. When breastfeeding, wait one month or until the baby has learned to breastfeed before trying a pacifier.

  • Make sure other family members and caregivers know and follow these important safety tips.

For more information about preventing SIDS, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or visit the New York State Department of Health Website at http://nyhealth.gov/diseases/conditions/sids.


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