October Is Declared SIDS Awareness Month in Michigan
written by/ October 25, 2021
In hopes of educating caregivers on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared October 2021 Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan.
The need for this is evident because each year, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) records an average of 146 infant deaths related to sleep.
Although science doesn’t offer a definitive answer to what causes SIDS, there are sufficient reasons to believe that both environmental and genetic factors are at play.
It is believed that, for the most part, SIDS cases are preventable deaths resulting from suffocation during sleep, and the infants affected are otherwise healthy children.
To prevent this horrifying phenomenon, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) once again puts emphasis on safe sleep practices for babies. Among the most important ones would be to:
- Put the baby to sleep or nap exclusively on his/her back.
- Use a quality crib mattress that will be firm enough not to suffocate your newborn if he/she accidentally turns around during sleep.
- Use tightly fitted sheets.
- Avoid bed-sharing with your baby.
- Keep blankets, all kinds of pillows (even head-forming pillows), and toys away from where your infant sleeps.
- Use a sleep sack or wearable blanket to keep your baby warm.
- Not smoke in the room where the infant sleeps and avoid exposing the child to cigarette smoke in general.
Each year, approximately 35 per 100,000 infants die of SIDS in the US. Moreover, official data shows that 1,436 babies’ lives were lost in Michigan to this syndrome in the period between 2009 and 2019.
To fight these stats, MDHHS puts out an additional safety reminder for parents and caregivers—to pay special attention to the sleeping products they buy for their newborns.
This makes perfect sense, especially taking into consideration the recent recalls of different products, like the deadly inclined sleepers and lounger pillows. So, this imposes another necessity—checking for recently recalled products. Parents can do this online on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.