New Ways to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

It’s not enough to simply put your baby on her back. Find out what other lifesaving safety steps you may be missing to prevent SIDS


SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
While its incidence has dropped by half since the launch of the Safe to Sleep (formerly Back to Sleep) campaign in 1994, SIDS is still linked to about 2,500 baby deaths every year. And even taking the right precautions (as Marr did) doesn’t guarantee that your child will be protected.


But here’s some reassuring news: Recent research is revealing more ways than ever to reduce your child’s risk. Are you doing everything you can to fend off SIDS? Here are answers to your top questions.

How to Prevent SIDS: Safety Tips


1 Always put your baby to sleep on his back.
2 Use a pacifier at sleep time.
3 Try swaddling your child.
4 Have her sleep in a crib in your room.
5 Make sure the crib mattress is firm and tight-fitting.


1 Put blankets or toys in her crib.
2 Smoke while pregnant, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your infant.
3 Put your baby to sleep on his side.
4 Share your bed with your baby.
5 Overdress your child or put his crib near a heat source.

When is my baby no longer at risk for SIDS?

Although much about the causes of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is still unknown, doctors do know that the risk of SIDS appears to peak between 2 and 4 months, decrease after 6 months and is extremely rare after one year. We know the idea of SIDS is terrifying, but constantly worrying and checking on your baby throughout the night won’t help — and will only leave you exhausted.

The best thing you can do is always place your baby on his back during bedtime and naps, and demand that any caregivers, including grandparents (who may not know about the latest childcare developments), do the same. You should also keep your baby’s crib and sleep areas as sparse as possible — leaving them free of cushy bumpers, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals. Since the American Academy of Pediatrics first made these recommendations more than 15 years ago, the incidence of SIDS has dropped by about 50 percent.



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