Sheriff's Department investigates infant death

The death of a 4-month-old baby girl found unresponsive and not breathing by her babysitter Sunday afternoon is under investigation by the Carson City Sheriff's Department.

Chief Deputy Scott Burau said the child was discovered around 3:30 p.m. at the Pinebrook Drive home of her caretaker, who called 911.

Burau said the adult sitter attempted to revive the child, who subsequently was pronounced dead at Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

"The preliminary suggestion on the part of the Carson-Tahoe Hospital doctor is that the child may have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," he said.

The syndrome is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant under one year of age, said Cynthia Huth, perinatal nurse consultant the Nevada State Health Division.

Burau said an autopsy completed Monday listed the cause of death as undetermined.

"There was nothing remarkable noted during the autopsy," Burau said.

He noted the child had no "adverse medical history," but officers found "nothing physical or otherwise that would suggest foul play. "

In Nevada in 1999, the last year for which figures are available, there were 14 cases of the syndrome, Huth said.

"That is a dramatic decrease since 1989 when there were 44 cases," she said. Huth attributes the decrease to a program her department implemented called the "Back to Sleep" campaign which educates parents on SIDS to reduce the risk.

Huth offered Do's and Don'ts on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome:


-- Place the baby on the back or side when sleeping so the mouth or nose is unobstructed.

-- Place the baby in a crib or bed with a firm mattress.

-- Keep the temperature in the baby's room comfortable.

-- If your baby seems sick, call your doctor or clinic right away.


-- Leave sleeping baby in bed with adults or children.

-- Leave stuffed animals, pillows or large comforters in crib with baby.

-- Allow baby to be around cigarette smoke.

Burau said the investigation into the baby's death will remain open until the results of microanalysis are received next week.


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