BISMARCK, ND (submitted) - October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. Central Valley Health District and the North Dakota Department of Health are partnering to provide information and resources for caregivers and community members to promote safe infant sleep strategies to reduce the risk of SIDS.
SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between the age of one month and one year in the nation and in North Dakota.
While the direct cause of SIDS in unknown, Central Valley Health says there are many things that can be done to create a safe sleep environment for babies. Ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death include:
Placing your baby on his or her back every time you lay them down to sleep
Using a firm sleep surface, like a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered with a tight-fitting sheet
Not letting your baby sleep on soft surfaces like an adult bed, sofa or couch
Sharing a room with your baby, but not a bed
Making sure nothing covers your baby's face or head
Keeping pillows, blankets, or crib bumpers out of your baby's sleep area
Not smoking or letting others smoke around your baby
Dressing your baby in sleep clothing and not using a blanket
Breastfeeding your baby
"Educating others on safe sleep, especially infant caregivers, is an important step in keeping babies healthy and safe," said Katie Bentz, Infant and Child Death Services Program Director for the North Dakota Department of Health.