LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– According to research the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rate has increased 15 percent becoming the third leading cause of infant deaths in the U.S.

Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center is one of three Louisiana hospitals to be recognized as a gold safe sleep hospital for their commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.

Alexis Trege, Manager of Mother, Baby and Pediatrics at OLG Medical Center, says two of the leading causes of infant death include accidental suffocation and SIDS, which has no known cause. Although these threats are not preventable, OLG teaches best practices to decrease the risks of SIDS, SUIDS, or accidental suffocation.

Trege recommends following the American Academy of Pediatric Safe Sleep Guidelines.

“Putting the baby to sleep on their back for every sleep, not sleeping on their stomach or their sides and we recommend sleeping in a separate environment from the parents. So in the same room just in a separate sleep space,” she said.

Dr. Matt Cortez explained that there are further steps a parent can take to ensure their baby has space to move in the crib if their breathing is restricted.

“The less things that are in the bed, the less things that can intervene with their head control and being able to keep their mouth and airway clear while they sleep at night…We don’t want the baby overheated with too much clothing at night. Get a crib that has a nice firm mattress.
They are still babies trying to get stronger and having rails that are appropriate,” Dr. Cortez said.

OLG Medical Center offers training programs for health care teams, parents and caregivers on how to safely use these practices.