Video Information Update: Please note that Dr. Gorum is the former co-chair of the Delaware Healthy Mothers and Infants Consortium.
There are no proven ways to prevent SIDS, but there are ways we can lower the risks. SIDS is short for sudden infant death syndrome and Delaware has one of the highest rates of it. Sleep-related death is the number one cause of death for infants between the ages of 1 month to 1 year. The Long Live Dreams campaign was designed to help more families create safe sleep environments for their babies. African American children represent a disproportionate share of all infant deaths. Unsafe sleeping is among the causes. We can reduce the number of cases of SIDS by practicing safe sleep. The Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Healthy Mothers and Infant Consortium support safe sleep, so more babies can eventually live their dreams.
Safe sleep is simple.
Encourage smoke-free homes. Babies who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to experience complications like asthma, ear infections, and upper respiratory infections. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are three times more likely to die from SIDS than babies who aren’t exposed to secondhand smoke. Babies should always sleep in a smoke-free environment.
Babies should always sleep alone in a safe crib and never with adults. An alarming number of infant deaths occurred last year due to bed sharing. A sleeping parent can roll over and suffocate a baby. Share a room, but not a bed with babies.
Babies should always sleep on a firm baby mattress with nothing else in the crib. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injury, but there is potential for suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment.
BACK TO SLEEP
A baby should always sleep on his or her back. Stomach sleeping increases your baby’s risk of SIDS. Babies who sleep on their backs get more oxygen and are much less likely to suffocate.
All Practices, hospitals, clinics, social service agencies must be equipped to teach safe sleep practices. We have many materials that can help you and your team promote safe sleep. You can find our free materials here. We need to act together. Sleep-related infant deaths can be reduced if we spread the word about safe sleep.