SIDS Awareness: Why Safe Sleep Matters

It is vital to pay attention and exercise proper sleep practices in order to prevent SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, as SIDS is a major cause of death of babies in the United States and its impact is too significant to ignore. The American Academy of Pediatrics has delineated some preventative measures that parents, guardians, and caretakers of babies can do to maximize a baby’s sleep safety. Babies should sleep on their backs on a firm, planar surface located in a structure meant for babies that is smoke-free, free of obstructions and loose objects, and at a safe temperature. These measures can help prevent suffocation, positional asphyxiation, and excessive carbon dioxide inhalation.

Key Takeaways:

  • SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies under one year of age, with 90 percent of those deaths occurring in the first 6 months.
  • Babies placed on their stomachs with a lot of bedding around them are at risk for suffocation.
  • Carbon dioxide rebreathing occurs when spaces in a crib are trapped with with carbon dioxide that the baby has already breathed out.

“It’s kind of ironic but some the biggest worries during the newborn stage are likely to occur when your baby isn’t crying and is actually sleeping peacefully.”

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