Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Too many blankets, heavy clothing and high room temperatures increase the risk of SIDS

As a result of the severely cold weather spreading across the nation, First Candle is reminding parents and caregivers to be sure to avoid overheating their babies. Babies are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their internal body temperatures well. Studies show that multiple layers, heavy clothing or blankets and warm room temperatures can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Room temperature should be set at what would be comfortable for an adult. Babies may be at risk of overheating if they are sweating or feel hot to the touch.

Other precautions to be taken year round to reduce the risk of AIDS and other sudden infant deaths include always placing babies to sleep on their back at naptime and nighttime, never exposing babies to tobacco and making sure there is nothing soft, loose or fluffy in the sleep area. NEVER fall asleep with your baby on an adult bed, sofa or armchair. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards, on a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered by only a tight-fitting crib sheet. Research also shows that using a pacifier when a baby is placed to sleep can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS. Find more information on pacifiers and other SIDS risk reduction measures on the First Candle website.

"First Candle is proud to have been a long-time partner with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in the national Back to Sleep campaign, credited with reducing SIDS rates by nearly 60 percent," said First Candle Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Nadine Goldberg. "We remain committed as a partner in the newly launched Safe to Sleep campaign to continue educating families and professionals on the importance of safe sleep in preventing infant deaths."

In the United States alone, more than 4,000 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly before reaching their first birthday. The majority of these deaths are the result of unsafe sleep practices and preventable. "Working together, we can help ensure that every bay is given the best possible chance to reach not only his or her first birthday, but many happy birthdays beyond," said Goldberg.

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