Sudden infant death is a fear that is on the mind of all new parents. Most victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are 2 to 4 months of age, and tragic incidences increase during cold weather.
Parents and caregivers can take preventive action to lower babies’ risk of SIDS. Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep.
“The back sleep position is the safest, and every sleep time counts,” Dr. Lister says. “Babies should also be placed on a firm sleep surface and not on pillows, blankets or other soft surfaces.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends a baby’s sleep area be close by, but separate from where parents sleep. A baby should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children. If a baby is brought into bed for breastfeeding, parents should put their child back in a separate sleep area when finished.
While babies should always sleep on their backs, they can be placed on their tummies for supervised play time, Dr. Lister says. This position not only strengthens neck, arm, and shoulder muscles, it also promotes healthy brain development.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/patientcare/medicalservices/pediatrics.html to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.
Media Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
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