COLUMBUS - What causes some infants to die in their sleep is a mystery, but folks at the Columbus Community Hospital say there are ways you can keep your newborn safe.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is when a newborn 1 year or younger dies while sleeping for no obvious reasons.

“There are times when they just can not come up with a cause," Maternal Child Health Department director Kim Eisenmann said.  "Baby simply went to sleep and did not wake up.”

The CDC says in 2017, around 1,400 infants died due to SIDS in the United States.

But staff at Columbus Community Hospital said an educational campaign called Safe Sleep has reduced SIDS by more than 95 percent. It focuses on how to put your infant to bed.

"Babies need to sleep on their back, face up," said pediatrician Dr. Kimberly Allan.  "They can move from side to side and that’s really important because some parents get very worried if their infants move to the side.  But babies can move freely, they just have to be laying on their back face up.”

Dr. Allan said it also helps prevent accidental deaths.

"I have seen many in my career from a blanket being wrapped around the head, from getting underneath the mother’s arm, from sleeping under a pillow or even falling off the bed," she said.

The hospital is also now involved with the Norfolk-based Briggs and Barrett Project, which aims to give parents and caregivers tools and resources to help prevent SIDS.

“We have ordered sleep sacks that all of our babies can go home with," Eisenmann said.  "We do education with our parents and if we can hit caregivers and family members and do the Safe Sleep education with them as well so they have the same message.”

For more information on how to prevent SIDS, you can visit: