When my children where infants, I would often sneak into their rooms and check on them while they slept. Even though I'd read practically every parenting book on the market during my pregnancies and knew the risk factors for SIDS, the chronic worrier in me just always wanted to be sure they were safe. If you have an infant, you probably already know how important it is to make sure your baby sleeps in a safe environment. But there's a good chance that there are some SIDS risks you may not be aware of.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is defined as the sudden death of an infant under age one, whose cause cannot be determined even after an autopsy has been conducted. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that in 2014, approximately 1,500 infants died of SIDS in this country. One of the scariest things about SIDS is that the infants it affects are often deemed relatively healthy before their untimely death.
Although there is no one known cause of SIDS, there are some things you can do to reduce your baby's risks dramatically. Keeping him away from smoke, laying him to sleep on his back, and removing blankets, loose fitting sheets, and stuffed animals from the crib can all help to keep infants safe as they sleep.
Before you put your baby down to sleep today, take a look at this list of SIDS risks that you may not have known and adjust your habits accordingly. A few simple changes can help ensure your baby enjoys a healthy first year of life.