April 24 is Sudden Infant Death Awareness Day, and parents are reminded to know the facts when it comes to keeping babies safe.
Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of baby deaths, claiming the lives of more than 2,000 in their sleep each year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents and caregivers:
• Place infants on their backs to sleep.
• Do not place your infant to sleep in your bed. Instead, bring the crib into your room until your baby is at least 6 months old.
• Make sure the crib has a firm mattress and avoid soft surfaces that could suffocate a baby. Remove blankets, bumpers, toys or pillows.
• Clothe your infant to keep him warm, but avoid too many layers or warm room temperatures.
• Offer your infant a pacifier. Studies have shown a lower rate of SIDS among infants who use them.
• Breast-feed your infant whenever possible: It decreases the likelihood of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections known to contribute to SIDS risk.