HEALTH WATCH - Babies: Preventing SIDS

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about caring for infants. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is a leading cause of death for infants less than a year old, but there are measures parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk.

Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says infants should always be put to sleep on their backs, not their tummies. They should sleep on a firm mattress, even for naps. Extra blankets, pillows and stuffed animals should be removed from the crib when the baby is asleep. Instead of blankets, use a sleep sack for warmth, and keep the baby’s room at a temperature that would be comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Dr. Lister says parents should also discuss this with caregivers so babysitters are aware of SIDS risk. About 20 percent of SIDS deaths occur while the babies are in child care.

Visit  to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.


November 2009

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