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An infant was discovered dead by her parents on Saturday afternoon in the village of Usafiya in the Carmel. The parents called MDA, who declared the year-old girl dead in the second case that day of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Earlier Saturday, an eight-month-old baby was discovered dead by his parents in Beersheba. The baby slept in the parents' bed, and was found dead when they awoke in the morning. A MDA team declared the second baby dead.
The eight-month-old's mother tearfully told the MDA team that she had "played with the boy just a few hours ago."
Following an investigation, police have ruled out the possibility of neglect or criminal activity in both cases.
Professor Yaakov Sivan, director of the children's ICU department at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, told Army Radio on Saturday that SIDS was a "sudden, unexpected death of a baby that was healthy till his last day. Autopsies, medical analyses and investigations of the circumstances surrounding the deaths have failed to discover their cause."
Sivan said that there was no connection between Saturday's two incidents, but that autopsies were still pending. Even so, he emphasized, Israel has had the lowest rate of SIDS in the world for the past 20 years.
Sivan gave several tips for parents to prevent possible instances of SIDS:
1. A healthy baby should sleep on its back.
2. Neither the baby nor its surroundings should be heated too much.
3. Parents were urged to breast-feed their baby.
4. Neither parent should smoke either during or especially after the pregnancy, since smoking was considered a serious risk factor.
5. Babies should not sleep in the parents' bed.
6. The baby should be encouraged to use a pacifier from the age of one month to a year.