HealthWise: SIDS awareness month

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dr. Alaina Brown, a partner at Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville, shared the different precautions parents can take to make sure they are not losing their babies to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

SIDS affects children under the age of one. The cause of death is unexpected, unknown and typically happens while a baby is sleeping. While this can be a scary time for parents, Brown notes a few things that can help prevent SIDS.

"All children under the age of one be placed on their back to sleep every single time they are going to sleep. This also includes not sleeping on their side as well as the stomach,” she said.

Making sure the baby is sleeping on a firm, flat surface with no extra blankets, pillows, stuffed animals or bumpers is very important to remember as well when putting your child to sleep.

"We love our comforters and our soft, fluffy pillows, but unfortunately those are dangerous for young children,” Brown said.

There is also evidence that giving a baby a pacifier to have while sleeping can reduce the risk of SIDS.

"One of the reasons SIDS happens is that infants get in too deep of a sleep and don't arouse themselves and their brain forgets to breathe,” Brown said. “Having a little bit more of arousal from having a pacifier can reduce that risk."

The risk of SIDS is no longer a concern by the time a child reaches the age of one. However, it is still important to make sure your child is in a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk of injuries.

This includes making sure your child is wearing non-flammable pajamas and having a crib or bed lower to the ground.

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