MISSOULA, Mont. -- Last year 17 babies in Montana died from either suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS is the unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep.
It's the leading cause of death for infants between the ages of one month and a year. Scientists are still researching the causes, but a new grant might help make a difference in preventing deaths.
The Missoula City County Health Department has been awarded a foundation grant of one year for $4,300. It will mostly boost SIDS education among our most vulnerable.
Nursing supervisor Kate Siegrist says that would be "group homes, shelthers and other agencies that work with high risk families." A public health nurse will help educate parents about safe sleeping patterns.
They recommend placing an infant on its back when it naps or goes to sleep for the night. The baby should be in a simple, unadorned crib with a hard mattress.
The baby shouldn't have too many clothes. The infant shouldn't sleep with stuffed animals or pillows. Taylor Wood is a young mother with two kids.
She says, "when you're a new mom you get really tired so you sleep really deeply, and it's easy to roll over on a baby." Taylor has learned a lot about SIDS from the public health department.
Nurse Dianne Grutsch says placing a baby on its back has reduced the SIDS incidence by 50%.