State Health officials find an alarming trend in the number of “Sudden InfantDeath Syndrome” cases in Iowa. In the first six months of this year, 22babies have died of “SIDS.” That almost matches the combined total of 25Iowa “SIDS” cases in 1997 AND ’98. SIDS strikes seemingly healthy babieswho are under 12 months old. While there is no known cause, State HealthDepartment consultant Dr. Herman Hein says 17 of the cases showed a link to some known risk factors. Those factors are exposure to cigarette smoke,letting a baby sleep on its stomach or side and having a baby sleep withsomeone else. He says that’s often done by parents who can’t afford a babycrib. Hein says only one of the SIDS deaths was in Polk County — thestate’s largest. He attributes that to a county education program and hebelieves the effort needs to expand.Hein says a baby can still die from SIDS without any of the risk factorspresent, but he thinks those factors are playing a big role in the “SIDS”deaths of Iowa babies.Hein says the SIDS deaths were spread out across the state in no particularpattern. Three of the deaths did occur in Council Bluffs and two each inDavenport, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.
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