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Smoking one cigarette a day during pregnancy can double risk of baby's sudden death

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Smoking one cigarette a day during pregnancy can double risk of baby's sudden death

A study in the journal Pediatrics analyzed 19,000 unexpected infant deaths, finding smoking during pregnancy doubles the chance of SUID.

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Be strict about bedtime. A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who had irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than did those with consistent bedtimes. And the longer the lack of a strict bedtime went on, the worse the problems became. If you work outside the home, it's tempting to keep kids up to have more time with them. But as much as possible, stay the course—even if that means you sometimes miss lights out. "We all make sacrifices," says Heather Taylor, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Morrissey-Compton Educational Center, in Redwood City, California. "Call or video-chat to say good night. Just be part of the routine."

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One cigarette.

Researchers analyzed more than 20 million births, including over 19,000 unexpected baby deaths and found that smoking just one cigarette a day during pregnancy can double the chance of sudden, unexpected death for infants.

"In addition, if you're a smoker it's important to quit well before you get pregnant," said lead study author Tatiana Anderson, a neuroscientist at the Seattle Children's Research Institute, in a video about the study. "We found that mothers who smoked in the three months before pregnancy and quit in the first trimester still had a nearly 50 percent greater chance of SUID (sudden unexpected Infant death) compared to non-smokers."

The findings of the study were published Monday in the journal Pediatrics .

SUID cases include sudden infant death syndrome, suffocation, strangulation and unknown causes of death in infants under the age of 1. About 3,500 infants die each year from SUID.

If women didn't smoke during pregnancy, researchers said the rate of SIDS could be cut by 22 percent, preventing up to 800 deaths a year.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, chief medical and health officer at the March of Dimes, cautioned against thinking that nicotine-delivery devices are safer.

"Nicotine has also been linked with an important part of the development of the brain stem in the infant," Gupta told HealthDay . "Nicotine is in the vaping device, so all the impacts we are talking about are still harmful when nicotine is delivered, regardless of the device. Nicotine and babies do not match."

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Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer: When you're kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself.