NH DHHS - NH Holds First Infant Safe Sleep Symposium

Concord, NH – In observation of October as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death

Syndrome) Awareness Month, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human


(DHHS), with support from the March of Dimes, NH Chapter, and the NH

Children’s Trust, held the first ever Infant Safe Sleep Symposium today.

The featured speaker was national expert Dr. Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza,

Senior Scientist in the Maternal and Infant Health Branch of

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The symposium was held to educate those who work with new or expectant

parents about the dangers of an unsafe infant sleep environment

and how to reduce the risks of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths.

The most important step caregivers of young children can take is

to place infants to sleep in a Consumer Product Safety approved crib on

their back with no blankets, pillows, toys, or soft objects.

“SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants one month, to one year of

age in New Hampshire, and in the United States,” said Dr. José Montero,

Director of Public Health at DHHS. “In the United States, approximately

4,600 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Of these,

approximately half are diagnosed with SIDS. Here in New Hampshire, about 10

to 20 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year,

and about half are due to SIDS. We know babies sleep safest alone, on their

backs, on a firm flat mattress, without soft toys or bedding in their crib.

As a nation and a state, we can do and must do better to reduce the risks.”

Attendees at the symposium included nurses, home visitors, social service

agency staff, child care providers,

lactation consultants and health educators. For more information about SUID

and safe sleep, visit the DHHS website at

www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/mch/sids.htm , the Centers for Disease Control and


at www.cdc.gov/SIDS/index.htm , and the National Institutes of Health Safe

to Sleep Campaign at www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx