(KUTV) A lack of knowing what causes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is in part, what makes it scary for many parents. However, even though we don’t know what causes SIDS, there are ways to reduce your child’s risk. Reducing your child’s risk of SIDS begins before baby is even born. This includes not smoking and getting routine prenatal care.
For new mom Alicia Ditto, keeping her newborn daughter Savannah save is her number one priority as they get ready to leave the hospital and go home.
“Obviously we want to make sure she’s safe. After spending so much time here [Intermountain Medical Center] in the NICU, we’re a little extra paranoid,” Ditto said.
To reduce her daughters risk of SIDS, Alicia plan on practicing safe sleep. For starters this means always sleeping on her back.
“They [The American Academy of Pediatrics] initiated the Back to Sleep campaign in 1992, and since they’ve done that, SIDS related deaths have decreased by 50 percent,” said Meda Clark, Staff Educator at Intermountain Medical Center Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
Be sure to remove any additional items from baby’s sleep environment. This includes bumper pads, stuffed animals, and even blankets. If it’s cold and if baby needs another blanket, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends wearable blankets.
This past year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently added sleeping in the same room as the parents for the first 6-12 months to their list of sleep recommendations. This does NOT mean co-sleeping. Instead, baby should have their own place to sleep.
“We do have a little bassinet for her that will work that’s safe for the first couple of months at least,” Ditto said.
One thing to remember is that car seats are for the car and should not be used as a place for baby to sleep.
“If you put baby in a reclining position then they can scrunch down and it can occlude their airway. So that’s why swings and car seats are not ideal,” Clark said.