LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The statistics are unbelievable. Nationwide, 3,500 babies die every year in sleep-related deaths. That's 10 infants a day.
Every parent has been there - staring at your sleeping newborn making sure they're alive and breathing. Despite our best efforts, tragically there are babies who die in their sleep every day. It's a devastating reality, but there are things we can do as parents to reduce the risk.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 22 percent of parents place their baby on their stomach to sleep, while 39 percent put pillows, blankets, even stuffed animals in their newborn's crib. Sixty-one percent admit to sleeping in the same bed with their infant. Doctors say all of these things increase the risk of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or accidental suffocation.
"Have the baby on the back in a crib or bassinet next to the parent's bed," said Dr. Rachel Moon of University of Virginia School of Medicine. "Nothing else should be in that crib or bassinet except for the baby."
With the temperatures so cold lately it's easy to grab a blanket and put it on your baby...but don't do it. Doctors suggest using a onesie - the warm footed pajamas - or even a winter sleep sack to keep newborns safe and warm.
Babies between one to four months old are most at risk for SIDS. Ninety 90 percent of cases occur in babies less than six months old.