Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
- Still the leading cause of death during infancy after the neonatal period.
- Decreased significantly with the advent of the “back to sleep” program (sleeping on the back instead of stomach)
- Risk decreases after 6 months of age (90% between ages 2-4 months)
- Sleep position. You must sleep all infants on their back! Be sure all daycare providers comply. The tummy sleeping risk is 3 to 9 times higher than back sleeping.
- Bedding. No soft sleep surfaces. Extra quilts, pillows, or loose bedding—all should be avoided. There is also an increased risk with bed sharing.
- Smoking. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk as well as postnatal smoke exposure. The more smoke the baby is around, the more the risk.
- Prematurity does increase the risk. (Discuss with your doctor)
- Overheating. Avoid overheating:
- Clothes should be light
- Room should not be too warm
The number of SIDS deaths is actually slightly higher during the winter months.