WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month.
It is when an infant dies suddenly and unexplained. Health Professionals say it typically happens when the infant is asleep.
It is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for 1-month to 1-year-olds.
News 2 spoke with Novant Health professionals on precautions mothers can take to reduce their child's risk.
A pediatrician with Novant Health says figuring out the cause of SIDS has been a challenge over the last 50 years. But there are some factors that are associated with decreasing the likelihood mothers should keep in mind.
Soren Johnson with Novant Health says it's important to let your baby sleep on their back. Another thing that can help is being nearby the baby in a protective space when they sleep.
Lastly, avoid having your baby in an environment with secondhand smoke.
"It is a relatively rare event but it can happen to anybody and that's why you want to be sure that you were following the pediatrician's advice about it. It's at the top of the events for newborn visits, two-month visits, four-month visits for sure," said Novant Health Pediatrician Soren Johnson.
According to the Children's Hospital, 2,300 babies die from SIDS each year.
News 2 spoke with a Novant Health outpatient mental health therapist who works closely with mothers who have lost an infant suddenly.
"You don't have to master your emotions or hide from your emotions and more importantly, you are not alone in your experience. There's help out there for you, support out there for you. It is so much better that we are together and going through the healing process than for anyone to be alone," said Jaren Doby.
Pediatricians said after a baby turns 6-months-old they have less risk of experiencing SIDS. But keeping those precautions top of mind is important.