Friday, October 15, 2010
KEEP BABIES SAFE- SIDS AWARENESS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claims the lives of about 2,500 infants annually and remains despite research unpredictable. It is the leading cause of death for infants between the ages of 1 month to 1 year with the most cases occurring in infants 1 – 6 months of age.
There is no specific warning sign but there does appear to be a combination of risk factors associated with SIDS. The incidence of SIDS is higher during the cold weather months. Most SIDS death occurs in infants between 2 months to 4 months of age and more in boys than girls. The incidence of SIDS is three times higher in babies of Native American decent and two times higher in babies of African American decent.
Other risk factors include
*The use of tobacco products, alcohol and/or drugs during pregnancy
*The lack of early and continued prenatal care which often leads to premature births
or babies born with low birth weights
*Females giving birth before the age of 20
*Second hand smoke
*Placing baby on their stomach to sleep
There are steps that can be taken to lower a baby’s chance of SIDS
*Always place the baby on a safety approved crib mattress that is covered with a fitted sheet
*The crib should contain no soft objects, pillow bumpers, loose bedding or toys
*Breast feed your baby if possible
*Place the baby’s crib in the parents room when possible, if there is not room, do not place baby in bed with
*Avoid having the baby around individuals with a respiratory infection
*Offer the baby a pacifier at night
*Be sure the same information is given to any person that will care for the baby in your absence
The lost and grief associated with SIDS affects not only the parents, siblings, grandparent but also many others individuals that cared for and loved the child. It is important that these individuals take advantage of grief counseling services when needed and not feel that they have to face their grief alone. Don’t try to put on a good face or feel you need to be strong for others but allow yourself time to grieve and reach out to others who have experienced the same lost. Visit SIDS Families for support.
Research continues to determine more facts to help the number of deaths to SIDS continue to decline…but everyone who cares for infants must do their part to keep babies safe during sleep.
Get the pamphlet for Safe Sleep For Babies