Date: 4/4/2005

SIDS in focus April 8 at Community Healthcare System

One infant dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) every hour. Researchers have not determined one cause, but believe there are several precautions parents can take to reduce the risk of SIDS. To help raise awareness, Community Healthcare System, made up of St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, Community Hospital in Munster and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, will celebrate SIDS Awareness Day on April 8, blitzing staff and visitors with valuable information on SIDS awareness and prevention.

Thanks to a generous donation from Babies R Us, every baby born at one of these hospitals on April 8 will receive a free Halo SleepSack. This wearable blanket is endorsed by the First Candle/SIDS Alliance for its ability to keep baby warm without the risk of traditional blankets bunching up around baby’s neck and face.

An information table will also be set up for staff and visitors at each hospital. Currently, the parents of newborns are taught about the steps to reduce SIDS before going home with their babies, but the message needs to go further.

While researchers around the world work hard to determine the cause of SIDS and ways to prevent it there are three simple steps the caregivers of infants can take to reduce their risk:

1. Establish a smoke-free environment for baby.
2. Position baby on his/her back for sleep.
3. Maintain a naked crib — no blankets, bumper pads, wedges, etc.

# # #