LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - According to Kentucky Department for Public Health, the number of sudden unexpected infant death cases in Kentucky have gone down by more than half from 2016 to 2018.
SUID is the sudden unexplained death of a child who is less than 1 year old, typically while sleeping.
In 2016, 103 SUID cases were recorded in Kentucky. The number dropped to 84 in 2017 and 48 last year, the department said.
Erika Janes, a registerd nurse, and coordinator of child safety programs with Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness has been teaching Norton Healthcare classes for parents since the 1990s.
“We’ve been working hard for years to decrease the number of SUID cases, and while it’s encouraging to see that the numbers have decreased over the past couple of years, we still have a lot of work to do to reach our goal of zero deaths,” Janes said.
In 1994, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) started its “Back to Sleep” program. The program emphasizes that babies are safest when they sleep on their backs at night or during naps. The AAP adds that babies also need “tummy time” when they’re awake to develop strong muscles.
Other tips for a safe sleep strategy for babies include:
- Do not bed-share with a baby. Bed sharing increases the risk of SUID.
- Babies should sleep in a flat, firm crib with no soft bedding, blankets, pillows, bumper pads or toys.