Caring for infants can seem like an intimidating job—there’s so much to know and understand about what babies need. And while that’s true, that doesn’t mean it’s something you can’t learn. There are many new parents out there looking for a caregiver who’s familiar with what their baby needs. Don’t count yourself out of those job opportunities because you aren’t familiar with infant care. The best place to start is infant safety.
What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. About 2,300 babies in the United States die of SIDS each year.
How Do You Prevent SIDS?
Currently, there is no known way to completely prevent SIDS. There are several known risk factors for SIDS, although some infants who die of SIDS have no risk factors. Premature infants are at a higher risk of SIDS, as are infants whose mothers did not receive adequate prenatal care. Exposure to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine in utero also increases an infant’s risk of SIDS. Boys are more likely to die of SIDS than girls.
However, there are some things that caregivers can do to help prevent SIDS. Several of the risk factors for SIDS that can be changed or controlled to reduce risk include:
- Sleep position
- Soft sleeping surfaces and loose, fluffy bedding
- Overheating during sleep
- Smoke in the infant′s environment
- Breastfeeding and vaccinations
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
What is SBS?
Shaken baby syndrome—also known as abusive head trauma, shaken impact syndrome, inflicted head injury, or whiplash shake syndrome—is a serious brain injury resulting from an infant or toddler being forcefully shaken. SBS destroys a child’s brain cells and prevents their brain from getting enough oxygen.
Approximately 25% of all babies who experience Shaken Baby Syndrome die. Survivors of SBS often suffer irreversible damage. Victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome may suffer from the following long term effects:
- Partial or total blindness
- Hearing loss
- Developmental delays
- Impaired intellect
- Speech and learning difficulties
- Problems with memory and attention
- Severe intellectual disability
Learn Preventative Strategies to Keep Infants Safe
If you’re interested in learning strategies you can take as a child care provider to care for infants safely, check out ChildCare Education Institute’s course, Protecting Infants: Reducing the Risk of SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome. You’ll learn more about SIDS and SBS and it will also prepare you to share this life-saving information with other families.
Sittercity sitters get a special 20% discount off a year of courses, so start with the Protecting Infants course and keep going from there! In addition to this course, they have over 150 online child care training courses in English and Spanish that meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start requirements.
Taking continuing education courses is a great way to build your credentials on your profile as well as potentially increasing your rate of pay. CCEI offers the convenience of taking coursework from work, home, a library, or anywhere internet access is available, so they make it easy for you to learn at your own pace and around your schedule.