New Advice on Preventing SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths


Doctors can’t always tell the specific causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than age 1.

The foremost risk remains the same: Babies who sleep on their stomachs are at high risk for SIDS.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics focused on other key risk factors for babies. Among them:

  • Sharing a bed with an adult
  • Sleeping on an adult mattress
  • Being put to sleep on their sides
  • Being placed on soft bedding
  • Being overdressed for the temperature
  • Having their faces covered
  • Being exposed to cigarette smoke

The study found that infants with one or more of each type of risk factor were at higher risk.

Taking these precautions also can help keep your baby safe:

  • Remove all soft toys, pillows, blankets and bumper pads from the crib.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Give your baby a pacifier.
  • Let your child’s doctor know if your baby ever goes limp, turns blue or appears to stop breathing for any period of time.
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