All children need vaccines to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. Vaccines help a child’s body create antibodies, which are the body’s defenses to fight off foreign substances (germs) and fight diseases. Although the human body can create antibodies on its own, most of the vaccine-preventable diseases cause severe illness and even death before enough antibodies are produced.
Make sure your baby is put to sleep alone, on his or her back, in a crib. Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDs) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) often occur when a baby is in an unsafe sleep environment.
The easiest ways to lower the risk of SUIDs and SIDS is to put babies on their backs to sleep at bedtimes and during naps. This is new advice. Until a few years ago, doctors told mothers to place babies on their stomachs to sleep. Research now shows that fewer babies die of SIDS when they sleep on their backs. Parents should make sure everyone who cares for a baby knows to place the infant on his or her back to sleep.
Breastfeeding improves health outcomes, protects against obesity and reduces health care costs across the lifespan. Breast milk is designed by the body to provide the nutrients a baby needs based on age and feeding habits. It’s easier to digest and scientific data shows breastfeeding provides optimal nutritional, immunological and emotional nurturing for growth and development of infants and children. Breast milk protects against a myriad of infections and conditions that contribute to infant mortality and morbidity, including childhood obesity.