Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) Awareness
SIDS & SUID
There are approximately 4 million births in the US each year. And 2014 saw 3,500 sudden unexpected Infant deaths (SUID).1 SUID is the leading cause of death for children under one year of age in the US. Unfortunately SUID and SIDS can occur any time before a child’s first birthday. However, since 1994 the rate of SIDS has decreased steadily.
Much research and education into ways parents and caregivers can prevent SIDS has been underway since 1992. The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS established the recommendation that babies be placed on their backs to sleep as opposed on their stomachs.2 There has also been much education on the babies overall sleep environment as well.
The Sleep Environment
Your baby’s sleep environment is probably one of the most critical elements in your child’s needs. The risk of SIDS can be greatly reduced by taking some simple precautions when you lie your little one down for a nap or in your pram for a stroll. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH)3 recommends the following:
- Use a firm sleep surface in a safety approved bedding with a covered sheet.
- Do not use pillows, blankets, sheepskin or bumpers of any kind in your baby’s bedding area.
- Remove toys and loose bedding from your child’s sleep environment.
- Do not allow smoking around your sleeping child.
- Ensure there is nothing covering your baby’s head while they sleep.
- Make certain your child is lying on their back whenever they are sleeping.
- Whenever you lay your baby down for sleep dress them in their sleep clothing, do not use a blanket.
- Your baby’s sleep area should be next to an adult sleeping area and your baby should not be left sleeping on a couch, chair, alone or next to a sleeping adult.
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month & October 15th
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Included in the many types of loss is SIDS. It’s meant to be a time to recognize so many parent’s loss in the US and around the world. Then President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in 1988.4 With H.R. 222 in 2006, Congress made October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.4 This day is a chance for all grieving parents to come together and share the love and support of their friends and loved ones as well as a day for the community to learn how to reach out to those grieving and understand the pain of the loss. You can learn more at www.october15.com
- Center for Disease Control. (2016) Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Retrieved November 3, , 2016, from: http://www.cdc.gov/sids/aboutsuidandsids.htm/
- Rethinking SIDS: Many Deaths No Longer A Mystery, Andrea Hsu (July 15, 2011). Retrieved November 3, 2016, from:http://www.npr.org/2011/07/15/137859024/rethinking-sids-many-deaths-no-longer-a-mystery
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2016) What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like? Retrieved November 3, 2016, from: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/about/environment/Pages/look.aspx
- Remembering Our Babies October 15th. (2016) October 15 Origination. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from: http://www.october15th.com/origination/