Cone Health doctors educate parents on SIDS

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a top priority for doctors and nurses.

It’s not clear what causes SIDS, but every day, medical professionals teach parents the best practices for keeping their babies safe.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of the number of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) emphasizes the ongoing importance of education.

Medical professionals maintain the benefits of making sure families are aware of how to remove dangers that might cause a baby to die in his or her sleep.

At Cone Health, the education is visible throughout its hospitals and the conversation starts early with parents.

“We model safe sleep both in the birth hospital and in the children’s hospital,” pediatrician Kay Gable said.

Algi Smith and Danielle Polsky-Smith recently became parents to their son Noah after trying to conceive for years.

“It’s the most amazing feeling in the world. This is our little miracle baby,” Polsky-Smith said.

“My wife and I have been planning to have this little guy for five years,” Smith said.

Cone Health staff worked with the new parents to give them the information they need to keep Noah safe.

“These are all things that to a new mom with no experience, I wouldn't have known without having that information that they gave me,” Polsky-Smith said.

Data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services details how the issue still affects families in the Piedmont.

The numbers show far too many babies are still dying while sleeping.

“But we have decreased the risk of the incidence of SIDS quite a lot since the Back to Sleep campaign. What we have not fully gotten rid of is unsafe sleep practices,” Gable said.

“You have to be extremely careful, you can't sleep with them and you can't have them in the bed when you're sleeping, so you don't want to fall asleep with them,” Smith said.

Gable says another way to keep babies safe is to make sure new moms have help because fatigue and lack of sleep can lead to problems.