October marks SIDS awareness month

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is the unexpected deaths of babies younger than one-years-old whose deaths are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.

"It has been shown through studies to be linked to positions and the environment the baby sleeps in," explains Dr. Ellen Royal of Pediatric Associates of Auburn.

Since 1994, the SIDS rate has dropped by more than 50 percent across all populations. However, the rate has plateau in recent years.

"We are constantly telling new parents to be aware that the baby needs to be put on its back for sleeping, in their own crib, without a lot of extra blankets," says Royal.

In 2013, 101 infants died from sleep-related causes in Alabama. An additional six infants 6 died due to suffocation or strangulation.

"Everybody is worn out when they have a newborn and maybe feeding the baby and they fall asleep while they're holding the baby in bed. Just be aware when you wake up quickly put the baby in its own space."

To reduce the risk of SIDS, use a firm sleep surface with a fitted sheet, free from soft objects such as pillows, and toys.

Do not allow your baby to sleep in car seats, swings or be propped on any device.

"Just keep them safe in an environment that could cause their breathing to be obstructed," says Royal.

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