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National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.

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SIDS Risk Reduction Tips
by Alison Rhodes

Perhaps the most devastating event that could happen to a parent is the death of a child. It is even more tragic when it is unpreventable and unpredictable. Unfortunately this happens to approximately 2,000 babies every year - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The good news is that since the launch of the national Back To Sleep Campaign in 1994, the rate of SIDS has declined by 50 percent.

At this time there is no known way to prevent SIDS in all cases, but there are steps parents and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of sudden infant death:

  • Place your baby to sleep on his or her back at nap and nighttime.

  • Do not smoke while you are pregnant and don't let anyone smoke around your baby.

  • Use a safety-approved crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with only a sheet.

  • Remove all soft, fluffy, or loose bedding and toys (including blankets and soft or fluffy bumpers and positioners).

  • Use a wearable blanket to replace loose blankets in your baby's crib.

  • Do not put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, blankets, sheepskins, and so on).

  • Room sharing is safer than bed sharing.

  • Do not dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees F.

  • Educate relatives, baby-sitters, and other caregivers about these important safety tips.

For additional information, visit First Candle/SIDS Alliance's website at

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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