Monthly Board Report - November 2000
Lower Your Baby's Risk of SIDS
submitted by Claire Zanetti, Queen's Nursing Student/ Erin McLean, Public Health Nurse
Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been involved with student placements with Queen's School of Nursing for years. The Child Health program had planned to do a media campaign regarding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and Claire Zanetti, a fourth year Queen's Nursing student took on this project as part of her placement with the Health Unit. Nursing students are paired with a staff Public Health Nurse for the duration of their placement with our agency. We look forward to future student placements from Queen's School of Nursing.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of death in infants in the Tri-county area. Sometimes called Crib Death, SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of a healthy infant. The cause of SIDS is unknown.
Recent studies have shown the following behaviours reduce a child's risk of SIDS. First, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs, on a firm surface. Second, pregnant women should not smoke. Babies should be kept in a smoke-free environment after birth. Third, it is important to keep your baby warm - not hot. Dress your baby the same way you do yourself. If you place your hand on the back of baby's neck and he is sweating, he is dressed too warmly. Last, breast feeding has been shown to be protective against SIDS. Choose to continue breast feeding your baby.
SIDS rates have been declining in recent years. This decline coincides with public education around risk factors. In fact, since a campaign called "Back to Sleep" began SIDS rates in Canada have decreased by fifty-four percent.
If you have lost a child to SIDS or if you would like more information, call the SIDS Foundation at 1-800-END-SIDS (1-800-363-7437) or the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit's Health Action Line at 1-800-660-5853.