Silent Threat: SIDS

For steps to prevent SIDS, check out Dr. Jim's blog!

Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is the unexplained sudden death of a child under 1. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age, with about 3,000 babies dying from SIDS each year in the United States. “SIDS these days is decreasing,” says pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears. “But more and more kids are dying from asphyxiation, strangulation, things like that, so we need to do something about the crib environment.”

For the best environment for your infant, Dr. Jim explains his dos and don’ts of crib safety.


• Have your baby sleep on his or her back.

• Keep the crib as bare as possible.

• Do not overheat the baby with extra blankets.

• Keep a smoke-free environment.

• Put a fan in the room. This can reduce the risk of SIDS by 70 percent.

• Put the crib in the parents’ bedroom.

• Breastfeeding may lower the risk of SIDS.


• Don’t overstuff the crib with full bedding, extra pillows or bumper pads. If you need to use a bumper pad, opt for a flat one.

• Don’t use sleep wedges, unless your doctor recommends it.

• Don’t leave stuffed animals in the crib.

• Don’t keep the baby dressed in a skullcap.

• Don’t use loose sheets and blankets. Use one tightly fitted sheet around the mattress and keep the baby in a sleep sack with a closed bottom and arm openings.