Rockford hospital working to prevent SIDS

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Around 3,500 babies in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly each year because of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A local hospital is educating the public on steps to take to try to prevent it.

Pediatric nurses at SwedishAmerican say putting babies on their backs reduces the risk of SIDS as a baby placed on its side can roll over. Also, limit the time a baby spends sleeping in a stroller or car seat. Nurses also suggest not leaving pillows, blankets or stuffed animals in the crib.

"We find that a lot of moms want to sleep with their babies in their arms and of course, we encourage bonding and breastfeeding as much as possible but we also need to set the guidelines for safe sleep and let them know that it really isn't the best place for the baby to sleep especially if the mom is sleeping," said Registered Nurse Cassie Farrell.

Doctors also say breastfeeding babies can reduce their risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.