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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: What Is It and How Can We Prevent It?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS refers to the sudden inexplicable death of a baby under one year of age. This tragedy usually occurs during the night and is the leading cause of infant mortality in Western countries. That said, since the launch of the Back to Sleep Campaign in 1991, the number of SIDS deaths has fallen by 82%. Here are the rules to follow to ensure you lower the risk of SIDS for your child:

  • Lay your baby in their crib alone.
  • Lay your baby on their back.
  • Keep the cot in your room at night.
  • Never fall asleep holding your baby on the couch.
  • Don’t sleep with your baby in your bed with you.
  • Get rid of any toys, teddies, or blankets in the crib.
  • Avoid pods, nests, and hammocks.
  • Do not use bumpers in the crib.
  • Avoid any sleep positioners or wedges, unless your healthcare provider has specifically recommended one.
  • Use a firm mattress in the crib.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier before they go to sleep.
  • Get in some skin-to-skin time with your baby.
  • Never smoke around your baby.
  • Make sure your baby is supervised at all times.

The NHS and The Lullaby Trust have more valuable information on the topic:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/caring-for-a-newborn/reduce-the-risk-of-sudden-infant-death-syndrome/

https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/