December 2010

Avoid SIDS During Cold Weather

During wintry months, you may be tempted to wrap your baby in extra blankets and warm clothes before sleep. But take care. Over-bundling may cause infants to overheat, increasing their risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)—the third leading cause of infant death.

Most SIDS deaths happen when babies are between 2 and 4 months old. The exact causes of SIDS are still unknown, but several things can raise the risk (see the Wise Choice box).

Multiple layers of heavy clothing, heavy blankets and warm room temperatures are known to increase the risk of overheating. One sign that a baby is in danger of overheating is if he or she feels hot to the touch.

Take steps to avoid SIDS. Visit this NIH web site to learn more:

Reduce SIDS Risk

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep. This is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Dress the baby in light sleep clothing.
  • Keep the room at a temperature that’s comfortable for an adult.
  • Use a firm, safety-approved mattress.
  • Never smoke around an infant.
  • Keep toys, blankets and other loose objects out of the crib. If you need to use a blanket, keep it away from the baby’s face.