DHEC provides tips on preventing SIDS and safer infant sleep - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC provides tips on preventing SIDS and safer infant sleep

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COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is warning parents about sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, and providing tips that can make a difference.

In South Carolina, six infants die each month from unsafe sleep, DHEC said in a media release. Babies are at risk of sleep-related deaths until they are a year old.

According to the CDC, about 22 percent of mothers reported not placing their baby on their back to sleep, as recommended. About 39 percent of mothers reported using soft bedding when placing babies to sleep, which is not recommended.

Here are some tips for safer sleep, per DHEC:

  1. ALONE- Babies should sleep alone in their own safe sleep space such as a crib or bassinet with a firm, flat mattress. For the first year of life, baby should have a separate safe sleep space in the parent's room.

  2. BACK- Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back, both for naps and at night. Placing babies on their backs to sleep is one of the most important ways to prevent SIDS.

  3. CRIB- Make sure that the crib or bassinet you're using is safety approved by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and that the crib is bare. Remove all pillows, blankets soft toys, or bumpers.

Additional safety tips include:

  • Do not use cribs made before 2011: Older cribs may not meet current safety standards.
  • Do not use altered cribs: Cribs that are broken or modified, or that have gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and mattress can be dangerous.
  • Keep sleeping space away from cords: Do not place a crib or bassinet near a window with blinds or curtain cords. Babies can strangle on these items.
  • Set a timer: When feeding your baby, set an alarm or timer on your phone to ensure you stay awake.
  • No objects in sleeping space: Remove all bumper pads, blankets, toys, pillows and other objects from the baby's crib or bassinet.
  • Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth. Do not use drugs or alcohol while caring for baby.
  • Dress baby for the room environment to avoid over-heating.
  • Be sure that baby has all immunizations recommended by his or her physician.
  • Regular prenatal care and breastfeeding can reduce your baby's risk of SIDS.
  • Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person.

For more information, click here

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