Do you put extra blankets or clothes on your infant during the cold winter months, hoping to keep him or her warmer? The extra layers may actually increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the sudden, unexplained death of an infant in the first year of life. The number of infants who die from SIDS goes up during the winter, according to NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
For more than a decade, NICHD has led the “Back to Sleep” campaign, which explains how to reduce the risk of SIDS. Since the campaign began, the overall SIDS rate in the U.S. has gone down by more than 50%. Despite the campaign’s progress, however, SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age, claiming the lives of about 2,500 each year.
Most SIDS deaths happen between 2 and 4 months of age. While the causes of SIDS are still unclear, you can reduce factors that increase SIDS risk.
NICHD endorses these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
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