Sudden Infant Death Syndrome more common on New Years' day than any other time, study shows

Cristina Graves, M.D.
Cristina Graves, M.D.
Jimmy Ragsdale, EMS Coordinator
Jimmy Ragsdale, EMS Coordinator

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It's a sobering statistic. More than 2,500 babies die in the U.S. every year from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

There's no scientific reason why, but researchers say one probable explanation reaches across every demographic, every social class.

It happens to even the most responsible of parents, waking up to find their infant lifeless.

"People assume that oh maybe this person's doing drugs. No. We see it here in Lufkin unfortunately yearly and it is people-- it's your neighbor, it's someone who is a good mom or a good dad," said physician at the Children's Clinic of Lufkin, Cristina Graves.

A new study from the University of California at San Diego shows SIDS claims more lives on New Years' day than any other time.

The study doesn't prove that anything is the cause of SIDS death but researchers suspect that the increase in deaths on New Years' day has something to do with parents drinking heavily the night before, putting their children in jeopardy.

The study makes sense to EMS coordinator Jimmy Ragsdale.

"Too much partying, going out, not being as attentive as you were and sleeping deeper than what you normally would. Not recognizing when the baby was in distress," described Ragsdale.

Another common mistake is sleeping with your infant.

"Sleeping can predispose a parent to roll on a baby or a baby gets stuck between them and a wall and a blanket," said Graves.

Adding alcohol to the mix, Graves says just increases the risks.

"Even one drink or two and that's like taking Benadryl. It makes you sleep much deeper and now your baby's kicking and you don't feel it and you're sleeping much harder," she explained.

There is no solid proof that alcohol is linked to the rise in deaths on New Years'.

Still, these medical professionals say it's worth a warning.

"If you're the caregiver, just celebrate without alcohol," said Ragsdale.

"Or make sure you have someone there to help you with that baby so you're not the sole responsible one if you plan on having a drink or two," advised Graves.

Studies insist that an infant should sleep on their back to help prevent SIDS.

*Note- the photos and attached video are a simulation, not from actual events.

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