October is SIDS Awareness Month. Read on to learn more about safe infant sleep and tips that families, early care and education providers can take to help keep babies healthy and safe.
October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month!
By Katherine A. Beckmann, Ph.D, M.P.H., Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Health and Development
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood
About 3,500 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. These deaths are the result of unknown causes, Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB), and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is defined as an unidentified cause of death in a baby younger than one year, even after the performance of an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the infant’s and family’s clinical histories. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between one and four months of age and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before six months. However, SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby’s first year. Approximately, 20 percent of SIDS-related deaths occur in child care settings.
The Safe to Sleep® campaign (formerly known as Back to Sleep®) aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce to the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death. Over the past two decades, we’ve made great progress in helping to reduce the risk of SIDS by more than 50 percent across the country, as a whole. However, disparities still exist. For example, African American infants are twice as likely as white infants to die of SIDS. Similarly, American Indian/Alaska Native infants are three times as likely as white infants to die of SIDS.
Now is a great time to start planning October events to get the word out about safe infant sleep! Here are ideas and free resources to help you plan SIDS Awareness Month activities:
o Brochures for general outreach as well as African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic communities
Check out Parent Child Interaction Therapy of Siouxland on YouTube!
PCIT of Siouxland is an organization that utilizes the treatment of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for conduct-disordered young children that improves the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. In PCIT, parents are taught specific skills to establish a nurturing and secure relationship with their child while increasing their child’s prosocial behavior and decreasing negative behavior.
Rooted in Relationships is a statewide initiative that helps Nebraska communities support the social and emotional development of children from birth through age 8. Rooted communities encourage early childhood environments that promote positive social-emotional development, help establish shared statewide priorities and assessment, and strive to make continuous improvements.
Currently at work in three Nebraska communities, Rooted in Relationships is working with key stakeholders to develop systems that prevent mental health issues in early childhood and respond effectively and compassionately to children who need care. Our goal is socially and emotionally health children, reduced stress for families, greater success in school and more positive life outcomes.
For more information, please visit: www.rootedinrelationships.org.