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Image of two Airmen treating a patient.

Air Force SMART program sustains readiness and c...

Local News
Oct. 27, 2022

The Air Force’s Sustained Medical and Readiness Trained, or SMART, program has become a dynamic training...
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2022) – Capt. Sharon House, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville commander, together with the command’s Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS team, prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new electronic health record system MHS GENESIS on September 24 at the hospital. The ribbon cutting recognized the launch of the new electronic health record at the hospital and its Naval Branch Health Clinics Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

MHS GENESIS ‘Goes Live’ at Naval Hospital Jackso...

Local News
Sep. 26, 2022

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville and Naval Branch Health Clinics (NBHC) Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport...
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Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to 17 Year-Olds

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to...

Local News
Aug. 31, 2022

Adolescents ages 12 to 17 can now receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth vaccine to be authorized...
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New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming...

Local News
Aug. 30, 2022

Public health experts say COVID-19 cases are anticipated to spike again this fall, but new vaccine versions...
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Image of monkeypox.

Eligible Airmen, Guardians have access to more m...

Local News
Aug. 22, 2022

The Department of Defense is increasing its supply of the approved monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, which allows...
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JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph Pharmacies change processes

JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph pharmacies implemen...

Local News
Aug. 19, 2022

The Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Randolph Pharmacy teams are changing some of their processes to...
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collage of active duty service women

After Dobbs Decision, Department of Defense Prov...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, service...
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Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculoskeletal injuries

Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculo...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

The Brooke Army Medical Center Musculoskeletal Integrated Practice Unit, located in the Capt. Jennifer M...
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Local News | Dec. 2, 2021

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: How to Keep Babies Safe While Sleeping

More than 1,000 young babies die in their sleep every year in America due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.

It’s a terrifying thought for parents – the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy child less than a year old. The exact cause of SIDS remains unclear; doctors have been unable to fully explain the cause despite years of research.

However, there are several important precautions that parents of newborns can take to reduce the risk. Some of those safety measures for newborns include:

  • Always put a baby down to sleep on their back – not the stomach. 
  • Keep objects out of the crib or bassinette -- no pillows, no toys, no crib bumpers, no blankets.
  • Consider having the baby sleep in the same room as a parent – but never in the same bed. 

SIDS accounts for more than one out of three sudden or unexpected infant deaths in the United States each year.

For military families, the Family Advocacy Programs at military installations offer a New Parent Support Program, which can provide one-on-one advice at home. The program offers up-to-date parenting practices supported by the latest research.

Although the incidents of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths have decreased in recent years, it remains a risk that parents and other caretakers should be aware of.

Most SIDS deaths happen among babies who are between 1 and 4 months’ old, and 90% of SIDS deaths involve babies less than 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby's first year.

Slightly more boys die of SIDS than girls but the reason for the gender difference is unknown, according to Dr. Stacey Frazier, a retired Air Force colonel who is now chief of inpatient pediatrics at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

A leading factor in SIDS is unsafe bedding, such as soft or loose blankets. “Some of the reason for SIDS may be overheating,” Frazier said, as “there is some evidence” that it affects a baby’s breathing.

SIDS also may result from some object in the crib or bassinet that restricts a baby’s ability to breathe as they move around in their sleep. Therefore, pediatricians recommend that “sleeping babies have no pillows, no toys, no crib bumpers, no blankets – nothing that can be pulled over the head,” Frazier said.

There are special sleep sacks that can be used so that a baby cannot pull an item over his or her head. The sleep sacks are used in the maternity wards of some military hospitals.

One hard rule that must be followed: Babies should never sleep in the same bed as their parents, also known as “co-sleeping,” said Dr. Rita Moreck, the chief of outpatient pediatrics at Fort Bliss’s Hugo V. Mendoza Soldier Family Care Center in Texas. Babies should be in a separate crib or bassinet next to a parent’s bed. She said she regularly has to emphasize that directive to parents, and that co-sleeping still is a cause of sudden unexpected infant death.

Pacifiers during the night and sleeping in the same room with a parent are also recommended to reduce the potential for SIDS.

Babies should sleep in the same room as a parent for at least six months, or, ideally, until they are a year old. “There may be some protective effect” from a pacifier and the presence of others in the room that keep a baby’s brain more alert, Frazier said, “and a little bit more arousable.”

The baby’s sleeping space should have a hard flat surface and a mattress that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, Moreck explained. Only a fitted sheet should be used on the surface, with no additional sheets or blankets, she added.

Breastfeeding your baby is important for many reasons. Frazier said there are theories that SIDS is caused by some minor viral illness, and breastmilk has all the necessary antibodies to provide protection. 

Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to reduce the risk of SIDS are one of the most cited sources of information for parents. The AAP recommendations include:

  • Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Visit the baby’s health care provider for regular well-baby checkups and vaccinations to prevent disease. Evidence suggests that immunizations can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

Finally, there are many myths about SIDS:

  • SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots
  • SIDS is not contagious
  • SIDS is not caused by cribs
  • SIDS is not caused by vomiting or choking

Local News

 

 

Local News | Dec. 2, 2021

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: How to Keep Babies Safe While Sleeping

More than 1,000 young babies die in their sleep every year in America due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.

It’s a terrifying thought for parents – the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy child less than a year old. The exact cause of SIDS remains unclear; doctors have been unable to fully explain the cause despite years of research.

However, there are several important precautions that parents of newborns can take to reduce the risk. Some of those safety measures for newborns include:

  • Always put a baby down to sleep on their back – not the stomach. 
  • Keep objects out of the crib or bassinette -- no pillows, no toys, no crib bumpers, no blankets.
  • Consider having the baby sleep in the same room as a parent – but never in the same bed. 

SIDS accounts for more than one out of three sudden or unexpected infant deaths in the United States each year.

For military families, the Family Advocacy Programs at military installations offer a New Parent Support Program, which can provide one-on-one advice at home. The program offers up-to-date parenting practices supported by the latest research.

Although the incidents of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths have decreased in recent years, it remains a risk that parents and other caretakers should be aware of.

Most SIDS deaths happen among babies who are between 1 and 4 months’ old, and 90% of SIDS deaths involve babies less than 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby's first year.

Slightly more boys die of SIDS than girls but the reason for the gender difference is unknown, according to Dr. Stacey Frazier, a retired Air Force colonel who is now chief of inpatient pediatrics at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

A leading factor in SIDS is unsafe bedding, such as soft or loose blankets. “Some of the reason for SIDS may be overheating,” Frazier said, as “there is some evidence” that it affects a baby’s breathing.

SIDS also may result from some object in the crib or bassinet that restricts a baby’s ability to breathe as they move around in their sleep. Therefore, pediatricians recommend that “sleeping babies have no pillows, no toys, no crib bumpers, no blankets – nothing that can be pulled over the head,” Frazier said.

There are special sleep sacks that can be used so that a baby cannot pull an item over his or her head. The sleep sacks are used in the maternity wards of some military hospitals.

One hard rule that must be followed: Babies should never sleep in the same bed as their parents, also known as “co-sleeping,” said Dr. Rita Moreck, the chief of outpatient pediatrics at Fort Bliss’s Hugo V. Mendoza Soldier Family Care Center in Texas. Babies should be in a separate crib or bassinet next to a parent’s bed. She said she regularly has to emphasize that directive to parents, and that co-sleeping still is a cause of sudden unexpected infant death.

Pacifiers during the night and sleeping in the same room with a parent are also recommended to reduce the potential for SIDS.

Babies should sleep in the same room as a parent for at least six months, or, ideally, until they are a year old. “There may be some protective effect” from a pacifier and the presence of others in the room that keep a baby’s brain more alert, Frazier said, “and a little bit more arousable.”

The baby’s sleeping space should have a hard flat surface and a mattress that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, Moreck explained. Only a fitted sheet should be used on the surface, with no additional sheets or blankets, she added.

Breastfeeding your baby is important for many reasons. Frazier said there are theories that SIDS is caused by some minor viral illness, and breastmilk has all the necessary antibodies to provide protection. 

Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to reduce the risk of SIDS are one of the most cited sources of information for parents. The AAP recommendations include:

  • Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Visit the baby’s health care provider for regular well-baby checkups and vaccinations to prevent disease. Evidence suggests that immunizations can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

Finally, there are many myths about SIDS:

  • SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots
  • SIDS is not contagious
  • SIDS is not caused by cribs
  • SIDS is not caused by vomiting or choking
Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.