SIDS – What You Need to Know

Posted by on October 10, 2009 in General News | Comments Off on SIDS – What You Need to Know

There has been quite a few news stories lately about cases of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is a fatal syndrome that affects sleeping infants under a year old, characterized by a sudden cessation of breathing and thought to be caused by a defect in the central nervous system. 

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 to 12 months old, most common between 2 and 4 months of age.  Ninety percent of SIDS victims die before 6 months and the risk of SIDS diminishes during the first year of life. The diagnosis of SIDS is not commonly used after 1 year of age.

There are preventative measures parents and caregivers can take: 

Back Sleeping: the single most important step to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

Bedding: Babies should sleep on firm, flat mattresses in a crib that meets current safety standards and should not have soft, fluffy or loose bedding or bumpers.

Head Covering:  A baby’s head should be uncovered during sleep at all times.  

Bed Sharing/Sofa Sharing: Do not share a sleep surface with your baby.

Pacifiers:  Pacifiers can significantly reduce a baby’s risk for SIDS. 

Smoking:  Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are three times more likely to have a SIDS baby, and exposure to passive smoke from smoking by mothers, fathers, and others around the baby after its born doubles their risk of SIDS. 

Room Temperature: Babies should be kept warm, but not too warm. Room temperatures should be comfortable and a baby should not be overdressed.  

Prenatal Care:  Practice good prenatal care with proper nutrition, abstinence from alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and frequent medical checkups.

Breastfeeding:  Breastfeeding helps build a babies’ immunity against illness and infections, in addition to other benefits. 

Child Care: Anyone watching your baby should be informed of the correct way to put your baby to sleep.  

For a more detailed discussion on SIDS, you can read our latest newsletter, released this week, at the following link: