October Marks Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.
October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. SIDS describes the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year of age.
No one knows for certain what causes SIDS, but some babies are more at risk than others. These include:
Take these steps to reduce the risk of SIDS:
- Babies who sleep on their stomachs
- Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy
- Babies exposed to second-hand smoke in their households
- Babies born to mothers who received insufficient prenatal care
- Premature or low birth weight babies
- Place the baby on his or her back to sleep at night, and for naps.
- Keep the baby warm when he or she sleeps, but not too warm. The baby's room should feel comfortable to adults, and the baby should not be overdressed.
- Make sure the baby sleeps on a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet, and free of soft objects, toys and loose bedding. The baby's head and face should not be covered by bedding or other items.
- Offer the baby a clean, dry pacifier when he or she is put down for sleep, but don't force the baby to take it. Mothers who are breastfeeding should wait until their babies are at least one month old or used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.
- Keep the baby's sleep area close to but separate from where parents and others sleep.
- Make sure that the baby receives regular check-ups and any recommended medical care from his or her doctor.
- Speak to your doctor or other care provider about any additional steps that you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) offers support services for families, professionals and communities, including community outreach activities to educate families about SIDS, and counseling and referral services for families who have experienced a SIDS death. For more information on SIDS or other health issues call MSDH at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948) or visit MSDH online at www.HealthyMS.com.
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Last reviewed on Oct 2, 2009