Decrease in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 5:45 PM CST
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Health experts say there has been a huge improvement in the number of babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

"We were looking at numbers and the two articles from the American Academy of Pediatrics says they've decreased to an approximately only 3,500 to 4,000 deaths in a year which has dropped dramatically," said HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital nurse Teresa DeMoe.

DeMoe says Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or "SIDS" has gone down significantly compared to past years.

"It used to be higher, like 10,000 even," said DeMoe.

SIDS is often an unknown death of babies that usually happens while they are sleeping.

DeMoe says it is most common from birth to about 6 months old.

"It's an unexplained, most of the time, condition, but what we found is if we take steps we can prevent 50 to 75 percent of it just by doing what is best for baby and best practice," said DeMoe.

And some of these steps include having the baby sleep on their back alone in their crib, making sure they are not overheated and mainly keeping them away from cigarette smoke.

Other recommendations include not having any bedding, pillows or toys with the infant in their crib, until they are at least one year old.

Demoe says because health officials are making more new parents aware of these risks it is making a difference.

But even with the decrease there are still many babies dying due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

"It is still the leading cause of death for babies less than a year old, so we still need to be diligent about teaching parents and what to do to prevent it," said DeMoe.