Concord, NH – In observation of October as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), with support from the March of Dimes, NH Chapter, and the NH Children’s Trust, held the first ever Infant Safe Sleep Symposium today.
The featured speaker was national expert Dr. Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, Senior Scientist in the Maternal and Infant Health Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The symposium was held to educate those who work with new or expectant parents about the dangers of an unsafe infant sleep environment and how to reduce the risks of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths. The most important step caregivers of young children can take is to place infants to sleep in a Consumer Product Safety approved crib on their back with no blankets, pillows, toys, or soft objects.
“SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants one month, to one year of age in New Hampshire, and in the United States,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “In the United States, approximately 4,600 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Of these, approximately half are diagnosed with SIDS. Here in New Hampshire, about 10 to 20 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year, and about half are due to SIDS. We know babies sleep safest alone, on their backs, on a firm flat mattress, without soft toys or bedding in their crib. As a nation and a state, we can do and must do better to reduce the risks.”
Attendees at the symposium included nurses, home visitors, social service agency staff, child care providers,
lactation consultants and health educators. For more information about SUID and safe sleep, visit the DHHS website at
www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/mch/sids.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/SIDS/index.htm, and the National Institutes of Health Safe to Sleep Campaign at www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx.