October is SIDS Awareness Month. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death in children ages one month to a year. Iowa SIDS Alliance executive director Denise Mougin says there are several things a parent should be wary of when putting their child to bed.Babies should be laid down face up on a tight-fitting sheet, with no “fluff”, meaning afghans, deep pillows, or soft toys. A parent should not smoke around their child as this is a SIDS risk factor. The “Back to Sleep” campaign, started in 1992, is an effort to decrease SIDS cases across the nation.The increasing rates of SIDS cases, particularly between 1998 and 1999, were alarming. They began with 32 deaths in 1998.By 1999 Iowa had 48 deaths and she says they had no idea why. Since then, the numbers of gradually gone down with 38 in 2000 and preliminary results for 2001 showing 34. Mougin also says a parent should never share their bed with a baby. Parents should also keep the room temperature between 65 and 68 degrees to prevent their baby from overheating, which is also another risk factor from bed sharing.
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