From Our 2010 Archives

Health Tip: Reduce Your Baby's Risk of SIDS

(HealthDay News) -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) describes the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year without explanation.

The condition is sometimes called "crib death" because that's where the infants often are found. But cribs don't cause SIDS, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development says.

Here are the institute's recommendations for how you may reduce an infant's risk of SIDS:

  • Always put babies to sleep on their backs.
  • Baby should always sleep on a firm surface, such as a crib mattress, with only a fitted sheet. The crib should NOT contain pillows, blankets, sheepskins, bumpers or quilts.
  • Don't smoke -- before or after having baby -- and keep baby away from secondhand smoke.
  • Don't let baby sleep in your bed.
  • You can allow baby to sleep with a clean and dry pacifier, but don't force it on baby if the infant doesn't want it.
  • Prevent overheating while the infant sleeps, using light clothing and making the room temperature comfortable.

-- Diana Kohnle

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