PITTSBURG, MO.--- October is SIDS Awareness Month. According to the CDC, over 2,000 children die every year from the syndrome. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, is the leading cause of death among infants between 1-12 months old. What exactly causes SIDS is still unknown, but there are some things new parents can do to help prevent it.
Health care professionals at Via Christi Hospital want parents to be aware of the potential causes of SIDS.
"They can't find a cause, but what we do know is that, through research, there's things we can do to help prevent it," said Jessica Canarte, Registered Nurse, Via Christi Hospital.
To help prevent SIDS, parents should not smoke or drink. Most importantly, parents and caregivers need to ensure their child is sleeping on their back.
"The biggest thing is, put your baby to sleep on their back. Don't put anything else in the crib with the baby other than, maybe, the blanket the baby is swaddled in. There shouldn't be extra blankets," said Canarte.
91% of SIDS deaths occur in a child's first 6 months. There are products on the market to help prevent SIDS, but professionals say beware.
"There's not any kind of FDA approval for any products like that, so just caution parents. Things like sleep positions and that sort of thing, to be cautious with those," said Canarte.
The CDC reports the overall rate of infant deaths caused by SIDS has decreased in the past 20 years, but the rates are still higher for African Americans and Native Americans. Professionals at Via Christi say don't worry, rather new parents should educate themselves to help avoid some of the possible causes.
Copyright 2013 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.