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Video:How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

with Kathy Moore

Parents want to keep their newborns safe, even during nap time. Learn about sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, and how you can reduce the risk of it.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com. Certainly the greatest fear of any parent is the sudden death of their baby. This program will discuss Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and what you can do to lower the risk for your infant.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of death for children from one month to one year of age.

Check the Baby's Crib

While the cause of SIDS is not fully understood, the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified these steps you can take to reduce the risks for your baby.

Start with the baby crib. Be sure it has a firm mattress that is covered with a fitted sheet. Do not use a pillow in the crib, and remove any soft or fluffy bedding as well as stuffed toys.

Thick cloth bumpers or any material that restricts airflow in the crib is not recommended.

Dress the Baby in Light Clothing

Always place the baby to sleep on her back even for short naps. Make sure the baby's head and face are uncovered while sleeping.

Dress your baby in light clothing so she does not overheat. Sleep sacks are a safe and comfortable way to dress your baby for sleep, usually eliminating the need for additional blankets.

Keep the Room at a Moderate Temperature

Keep the room temperature at a moderate setting that is comfortable for you. Watch the baby for signs of sweating or overheating, which may increase the risk of breathing difficulties.

Give the Baby a Pacifier

Consider giving your child a pacifier in the crib. Studies have shown that pacifier use is linked to a reduction in SIDS. Do not force your baby to take the pacifier but offer it gently.

If you are breastfeeding, you may wish to wait to offer the pacifier until after the baby is one month old to reduce the chance of nipple confusion.

Put the Baby to Sleep on Her Back

Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of sudden infant death so be sure to maintain a smoke-free environment in your home.

Lastly, be sure that anyone who cares for your baby understands about putting the baby to sleep on her back and the other steps I have outlined here. Following these recommendations should help you sleep easier, too.

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