Julie BellEach year, more than 4,000 infants die unexpectedly during sleep time, from SIDS, accidental suffocation, or unknown causes. Hamilton County has one of the highest rates of SIDS in the state of Ohio. African American babies are more than twice as likely to die of SIDS as Caucasian babies.

What is SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby under 1 year of age while sleeping. It is the leading cause of death in babies 1 month to 1 year of age. Of these SIDS deaths, statistics indicate that as many as 80-90% may be the result of unsafe sleep practices.

How can you keep your baby safe from SIDS?

  • Make sure your baby sleeps only on his or her back– Bedtime, nap time, every time!
  • Never, ever sleep with your baby. Babies need to sleep alone and in their own bed. Many moms and dads have accidentally rolled over their baby. Your baby can share your room, but never your bed.
  • Your baby should never sleep in an adult bed or on a couch.
  • Remove all pillows, blankets, bumper pads and toys from your baby’s crib, bassinet and play yard.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy and never allow anyone to smoke around your baby.
  • Breast is best for babies- breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mothers and babies.

Remember the ABC’s of safe sleep- babies should sleep Alone, on their Back and in a Crib.

Julie Bell is the Clinical Team Lead for Women’s Health Services at The University Of Cincinnati Medical Center. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from the University Of Cincinnati and her Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University.