Guidelines offered for National SIDS Awareness Month
GREATER AKRON — October has been designated as SIDS Awareness Month nationally.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant death from 1 week to 1 year of age, according to the Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio. More children will die of SIDS this year than will die of cystic fibrosis, childhood heart disease, childhood cancer and child abuse combined.
SIDS is defined as “the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age, which remains unexplained after thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and a review of the clinical history.”
The Sudden Infant Death Network of Ohio, a nonprofit health organization, provides a multitude of services within Ohio. The mission of the SID Network is to work toward the reduction and eventual elimination of SIDS through the promotion of infant health and wellness, community outreach, education and medical research.
In addition, the SID Network is dedicated to providing supportive services to any family who loses a child to SIDS or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.
The SID Network of Ohio encourages all parents and caregivers to follow these guidelines for safe sleep and SIDS risk reduction set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Infants should be placed on their backs every time they sleep.
Use a firm sleep surface — a firm crib mattress, covered by a sheet, is recommended.
Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft objects should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment.
Do not smoke during pregnancy.
A separate but proximate sleeping environment is recommended — such as a separate crib in the parent’s bedroom. Bed sharing during sleep is not recommended.
Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
Avoid devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. None have been tested sufficiently to show efficacy or safety.
Do not use home monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Avoid development of positional plagiocephaly (flat back of head) by putting the infant to sleep with the head to one side for a week and then changing to the other side.
Assure that others caring for the infant are aware of these recommendations.
For more information, call (800) 477-7437 or visit www. sidsohio.org.