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: