ADPH teaching infant sleep education to bring down state SIDS percentage

Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 9:39 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the third leading cause of infant death in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

They say it ranks behind “congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities” coming in at number one and “disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight” coming in at number two.

SIDS is basically the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby, usually during sleep. Even though it is the third leading cause of death, State Perinatal Division Director Carolyn Miller says it’s also one of the most preventable, which is why it’s so important to educate parents about it.

The latest ADPH report shows in 2020, 10.6% of deaths was a result from SIDS and in 2021, it dropped to 8.8%.

“It’s remaining about the same which is too high for me,” said Miller. She said she’d like to see it drop even more.

Miller says some of the easiest things you can do to prevent SIDS includes making sure your baby sleeps on his or her back and having no extra blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib with the infant. She adds that some babies are continuing to sleep with their families in a large bed which also can cause sleep-related deaths.

“One of the things we’re doing at Public Health to mitigate that is -- families who cannot afford a crib and don’t have access to one can actually go onto our website and apply to get a crib,” said Miller.

The program is called Cribs for Kids and Miller says if approved, they can actually deliver the crib to your home so your baby has a safe place to sleep. There are several forms a family needs to fill out to apply for the crib which can be found here.

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