SIDS deaths in Louisiana twice national average

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) –  In Louisiana, 84 infants died in 2007 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is more than twice the national average. SIDS claims one out of every 1,000 infants in the bayou state. It's a medical phenomenon that still has scientists scratching their heads and it's every parent's worst nightmare. Sara Blankenship brought her newborn baby girl home only three weeks ago and says she could not imagine losing her so suddenly. Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician at the Children's Clinic of Southwest Louisiana, tells her patients to follow simple rules at home to keep their infant safe:

  • Position infant on their back, not on their stomach to sleep
  • Keep a fan on to avoid over-heating
  • Put pacifier in when sleeping
  • Dress infant in tight-fitting clothes
  • Avoid loose bedding
  • No smoking near infant
  • Breastfeeding frequently can help reduce respiratory infection

Though the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, Dr. Murray says some babies may have a predisposition to the syndrome because of genetics or a prior infection. She adds that even if parents follow the steps above, SIDS can still claim their child.

Louisiana ranks third in the nation for infant mortality rates and to see the full list of states just click on this link.

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