Amarillo, TX - SIDS rates have decreased nationally due to campaigns to spread awareness.
Otherwise known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it occurs when children under the age of one died of unknown causes.
Despite the decreases, one local doctor is surprised to see how many people are unaware of the issue.
"But it is amazing to find out that even locally sometimes people aren't aware of these safe sleep recommendations. In previous generations they recommended babies sleep on their stomach so there are a lot of misinformed parents and grandparents out there that do things the way that they used to be done," Amanda Griffin M.D. of Texas Tech Physicians says. "So we have learned now the safest way is to sleep on their back so it's our role to educate everyone that that is the best thing to do."
Griffin says that often times cases occur when family members aren't present.
"Up to 1 in 5 cases of SIDS occur when someone other than a family member is watching the child," Griffin says. "So it's very important when you leave them with someone else that you explain to them how the baby needs to sleep and that placing them to sleep on their stomach is not the safest thing for them."
Griffin says that safe sleeping includes placing a baby on their back, on a firm surface, and making sure nothing is in their crib.
Babies who are born to younger mothers, mothers who smoke, or exposed to second-hand smoke are at higher risk. Breast feeding can help prevent SIDS.