LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana has one of the highest rates in the country for SIDS; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Our state ranks 49th in the country with infant mortality, but local officials are doing their part to reduce babies' risks to SIDS.
It's sudden and silent. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claims the lives of thousands of infants every year. Stepping in to raise awareness and prevention, the Office of Public Health held their first "My Fair Baby" event.
"Educate the community on ways to reduce the risk of injury and death to children, specifically reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," said Alisa Stevens.
"We want to remind parents all the things they need to do to keep their babies safe while they are sleeping," said Nancy Roach.
With SIDS being a very serious issue, the American Academy of Pediatrics has the right steps to keep your baby safe while sleeping.
"Make sure their baby sleeps on their back in an uncluttered crib every time it goes to sleep," said Roach.
"Don't sleep with your baby. I know a lot of people feel their bonding with their baby when they sleep with their baby, but their actually putting their baby at risk," said Stevens.
"We encourage parents not to overload the babies with a bunch of blankets. We don't want the blankets any further than their little shoulders," said Marta Benglis.
"When their awake they need tummy time because that helps the babies motor skills and strengthen their neck and upper body," said Deidre Ardoyn.
Other things you can do are don't let others smoke around your baby, dress your baby in light clothing and don't put bumper pads on the sides of the crib. Mothers from around the area took these rules to the heart.
"We don't want to hurt our children and we want to make sure they're healthy and safe," said Jenni Schappert.
"I think it's a very serious matter. People should be very well informed about things like this," said Rhonda Gass.
Parents of unborn and newborn babies came to receive the best information to keep their babies safe. Parents say it's a blessing to have these kinds of events.
"I'm a mom to be so it's very important for me to know people who care enough to take their time to do this," said Gass.
"A lot of people don't understand the risk of SIDS and don't have enough information just in general. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about things mothers need to know," said Mary Harms.
Information they hope saves little lives. Here's a list of ways to prevent SIDS.
Safe Sleep Top 10
- 1. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.
- 2. Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet.
- 3. Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area.
- 4. Do not allow smoking around your baby.
- 5. Keep your baby's sleep area close to. But separate from, where you and others sleep.
- 6. Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep.
- 7. Do not let your baby overheat during sleep.
- 8. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- 9. Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- 10. Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby's head.