Parenting

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Four Ways to Reduce the Risk of SIDS

A young mother, Wendy, worries about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, because she has had two cases of it in her extended family.

"SIDS does run in my family. I've had two cousins with young infant boys who have passed away," she says.

Child health expert Dr. William Sears expels the myth that has a hold of Wendy. "There is no inherited tendency to SIDS," he says.

His son, Dr. Bob Sears adds, "You guys can rest assured, literally, that your baby — even though it happened to some distant relatives — your baby is at no greater risk than any other baby."

Dr. Bob Sears advises using the following four measures to reduce the risk of SIDS:
  • Put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Bring the baby to sleep in the same room with you.
  • Breastfeed your baby.

Taking these four measures cuts the risk of SIDS in half.