SPRING, Texas – According to the March of Dimes, there are about 3,500 cases of SIDS among babies in the U.S. every year.
October is SIDS and safe sleep awareness month.
While some families never really know why this tragedy happens, there are some suggestions on ways to reduce the risk. Aaron and Breana Chaplin want you to know every one of them.
The Chaplins woke up on Mother’s Day unaware of how much their world would be turned upside down.
“Did I hold him long enough in the room? I don’t remember what he smells like anymore…” Breana cried.
“Can someone tell me what happened to my son? I’ll never know until God comes,” Aaron said.
Baby Samuel only lived for seven weeks due to SIDS. It’s an unfair diagnosis since it means parents like the Chaplins will never really know why their baby is gone.
After years of research comparing the U.S. and other countries rates of SIDS, there are some guidelines on ways to reduce the risk.
Here are some from the March of Dimes:
- Put your baby to sleep, alone on their back in a flat, firm crib.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding away.
- Don’t let your baby sleep in a carrier, sling, car seat or stroller.
- Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke around the baby.
- Remove any hanging window cords or electrical wires, babies can get tangled in them and choke.
- Breastfeeding and pacifiers are also thought to help.
The baby monitors that track heart rate and oxygen are not recommended. However, the Chaplins think having one might have given them more peace.
“I feel like if we would’ve had that, we could’ve intervened somehow,” Breana said.
The Chaplins has a few other recommendations for new parents too.
“Take a CPR class,” Aaron said.
Also, take more pictures and videos of your family.
“Sam was only here for almost seven weeks and I have a bunch of pictures, I don’t have any videos of him. I just got so involved in all of the kids and I went back to work right after because I work from home, I didn’t take any videos of my son,” Breana cried thinking about what bothers her most.
The family has taken their grief and used it for a chance to educate others while also spreading kindness.
They created the hashtag and Facebook page “baby Samuel flies.” You can print cards with a message about Samuel and when passing along little acts of kindness (like buying someone’s coffee or lunch) give the card. The Chaplins believe that’s helping others become more aware of SIDS.