Arkansas Ranks Third in Nation for SIDS

ARKANSAS -- A new report shows Arkansas has made progress in reducing the number of children who die as the result of an unsafe sleeping environment. 

According to UAMS, Arkansas still ranks third in the nation for Sudden infant death syndrome - or SIDS.

Experts say that's often the result of a child being placed in an unsafe sleeping situation. 

"We still have a long way to go, we're still well below the national average," Tina Pennington, Clinical Services Manager at UAMS said.

A report by the Child Death and Near Fatality Multidisciplinary Review Committee shows a combined 20 percent of reviewed child deaths in 2017 were the result of unsafe sleep environments or SIDS - down from thirty-two percent in 2016. 

"I hope that more education that's getting out there, you're seeing more campaigns about safe sleep with babies and so we hope more programs are definitely doing that," said Michelle Wynn with Childcare Aware of Northwest Arkansas.

Childcare Aware of NWA teaches parents and childcare givers the proper way to put infants to sleep.

"You want to lay your baby in the crib on their back with a fitted sheet that fits at least two inches under the mattress and you don't want to have any stuffed animals or any blankets in the crib with the baby," said Alana Phillips who also works for Childcare Aware of NWA.

Childcare Aware says allowing your baby to sleep in your bed with you is also unsafe. 

"Between adults and blankets and covers, you wouldn't want to roll over a child and suffocate and just that safety too," Wynn said. 

If you're ever in doubt about how to protect your child while they sleep - just remember the ABC's. 

"It's Alone, on your Back and in a Crib," Pennington said.

For more information on infant mortality, click here

If you would like to participate in a parenting class on SIDS prevention click here.

For more statistics on SIDS, click here.  

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