LEWISBURG, TN — About 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. About half of these deaths are attributed to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
SID is defined as the sudden unexpected and unexplained death of an infant less than one year of age. It is the leading cause of death for infants one to 12 months old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marshall Medical Center (MMC) has some tips on how to keep babies safe while sleeping:
- Place babies on their back, not on tummy or side
- Keep the baby’s head and face uncovered on a firm sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet
- Babies should have in their own safe sleeping place in the same room with an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
- Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night
- Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area
- Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else
MMC also wants you to know studies have shown that the last few weeks of gestation are vitally important in a baby’s development because major organs including the brain, lungs and liver are in the final crucial stage of growth. For more information, contact your OB/GYN or pediatrician.
“Electing to carry a baby to 39 weeks greatly improves the infant’s chances for good physical and developmental health. Infants delivered before they reach a term of 39 to 41 weeks have a greater risk of respiratory and other complications,” said pediatrician Dr. William See III, a physician on the medical staff of Marshall Medical Center.