Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month is being observed by HSHS hospitals.
Parents and caregivers are reminded the importance of safe sleep habits for infants, to reduce the risk of SIDS. Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger.
Debbie Martin, nurse with the St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese Women and Infants Center, said babies should be laid down to sleep on their backs, until they are old enough to roll over and have enough strength to turn their head from side-to-side.
Babies should sleep alone in a crib with a firm mattress, free of blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals or other crib items.
Last year, 143 infants in Illinois, under the age of one, died of being put to sleep unsafely. Twenty-five of those were in the Southern Illinois Region.
Additional information about infant safe sleep habits is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics at aap.org.