Georgia babies dying weekly from SIDS

Georgia babies dying weekly from SIDS
Published: Feb. 3, 2016 at 11:04 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Three to four babies a week are dying in Georgia due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other sleep related causes, according to health and government officials.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan uses a doll during his investigations when a baby or infant dies. SIDS is claiming the lives of more than a hundred babies each year in Georgia alone.

"A lot of parents don't think its going to happen to them until they know someone that it's happened to and that wakes them up," said Jennifer Hayes with the Healthy Families Georgia program.

While the actual cause of death cannot be nailed down, experts link SIDS to sleep time. Meanwhile, other sleep related deaths are gaining the attention of state and local officials.

"The two where we have 'none' and the one 'undetermined' were probably Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome," said Bryan, making possibly three cases since the start of 2016 in Columbus.

"We see that the parents are extremely remorse, a lot of crying, self blame," Bryan said.

Officials with the Healthy Families Georgia Organization meet with about 200 new parents each year to educate them on precautions they can take with their newborn.

The three things to remember are:

1. Keep your baby in a snug onesie or jumper.
2. Keep the crib or play pin clear of pillows, blankets, or toys.
3. Always lay your baby on it's back in these conditions anytime it is asleep, even if it's just for a quick nap.

"We have had instances in Muscogee where a parent took a nap on the couch with the baby in their arm, and a baby was found in between the couch and adult," said Hayes.

Experts tell us, back in the day, that research advised parents to put their babies on their stomach to sleep, but they emphasize that research has changed. Now they believe the safest spot for a baby to snooze is on their back. 

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