Caregiver Alert: Winter Months Pose Greater Risk for Infants

Extra blankets, warm clothing, may lead to dangerous overheating

The cold weather is here and with that comes an increased risk in SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, according to The National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have a young baby or newborn at home, it is important to be aware of prevention tactics.

Multiple layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets and warm room temperatures may be to blame. Research has shown these factors increase SIDS risk. Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their body temperatures well. Babies may be at risk of overheating if they are sweating or feel hot to the touch. Experts advise dressing babies in light clothing for sleeping, keeping rooms at temperatures comfortable for adults and not using blankets.

Other measures known to reduce SIDS include: Always place infants on their backs for naps and at night. Use a firm, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) approved crib mattress with fitted sheets. Avoid using blankets, fluffy bedding, bumpers, positioning devices, pillows or stuffed toys in the crib. Never smoke around an infant. Use pacifiers when napping or putting down to sleep. Breastfeeding. For warmth, dress baby in one more layer than you would an adult and use a sleep sack or wearable blanket. Also, keep thermostat to 68 degrees. Do not bed share with an infant. Room sharing such as having the crib in the parent’s bedroom is recommended instead.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, claiming 2,063 lives in 2010.

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