SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – October is SIDS Awareness Month and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s wants to raise awareness of what a safe sleep environment looks like for an infant.
UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s is holding a contest in regards to babies sleeping safely in their cribs, where families can take photos of their infants safely in a crib and submit them to the hospital.
To submit a picture of your infant sleeping safely to UnityPoint Health, email the photo to SIO_Marketing@unitypoint.org.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is “the unexplained, death usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old.
Health officials say there are about 3,500 sleep-related deaths among U.S. babies each year.
Although the cause is unknown, officials say SIDS might be associated with defects in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.
Researchers have discovered some factors that might put babies at extra risk. They’ve also identified measures you can take to help protect your child from SIDS:
- Place your baby on their back for all sleep times, naps and at night. Even if a baby spits up during sleep, their gag reflex helps prevent them from choking while sleeping on their backs. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs.
- Keep the crib as bare as possible. Use a firm mattress and avoid placing your baby on thick, fluffy padding, such as lambskin or a thick quilt. Don’t leave pillows, fluffy toys or stuffed animals in the crib. These can interfere with breathing if your baby’s face presses against them.
- Don’t overheat your baby. To keep your baby warm, try a sleep sack or other sleep clothing that doesn’t require additional covers. Don’t cover your baby’s head.
- Have your baby sleep in your room. Ideally, your baby should sleep in your room with you, but alone in a crib, bassinet or other structure designed for infants, for at least six months, and, if possible, up to a year.
To learn more about SIDS and how to keep your baby safe and healthy, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.