How to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death in infants one to 12 months old.

With October being SIDS Awareness Month, WHSV wanted to share some ways you can prevent this from happening to the little ones you love.

Dr. Susan Newsome, pediatric hospitalist at Sentara RMH, told WHSV that she has worked with many families that have lost their child due to SIDS and that it's extremely hard to deal with since it happens completely by chance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines SIDS as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.

While there's no clear cause as to why it happens, there are some ways you can try to prevent it.

Dr. Newsome suggests that parents:
1. Put their child to sleep on their back rather than on their stomach
2. Try to avoid having extra fluff in the crib - like pillows, blankets or bumpers
3. Never smoke around your child
4. Avoid sleeping in the same bed as your baby
5. Give them a pacifier to prevent a deep sleep

"Usually from thirty days to four months, that's the most common time period," said Dr. Newsome. "Again, we don't know why but at that age, babies can't roll over, so if you put them to sleep on their back, they should stay on their back."

Dr. Newsome added that at Sentara - they're committed to educating new parents on SIDS and other risks before the baby is born.

There's also a campaign called Safe to Sleep that works to spread awareness on SIDS all throughout the year.

For more information on the campaign and additional information on SIDS you can click on the links we've provided in the Related Links section.