Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: How to Prevent It?

SIDS refers to sudden and unexplained death without a known cause of an infant below the age of 12 months. This syndrome is very prominent among infants-age 2 months-4 months. SIDS is also referred to as Sudden infant death syndrome or crib death.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Particularly crib death because SIDS usually occurs with babies in the crib. SIDS remains unexplained even after a thorough investigation after death, a proper autopsy after Although the cause is unknown, studies suggest some of the possible reasons why SIDS happens and how to prevent sudden infant death syndrome from happening.

The highest ratio of SIDS was in New Zealand and the U.S.(5 Babies per 100) Promisingly, these rates have declined since the year 2000.

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Who Is At The Risk Of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

We have already talked about its unknown reason for death. More so, studies conclude that babies with a weak immune system are at a greater risk of SIDS than a healthy baby.

Provide your baby with all the breast milk it needs. Along with that, keep your baby happy by playing with them, laughing with them. Breastmilk, sleep, and playful hours are always important to keep your baby active and healthy. It’s not just a weak immune system but also many other key factors that put your baby at risk of SIDS. These are,

  • Premature Birth.
  • Delayed mothering and parental care.
  • Smoke Exposure
  • Depending on formula rather than breast milk.
  • Babies of age 1 month to 4 months
  • Family with a history of SIDS
  • Low birth weight of the baby
  • Overheating of the baby

Babies born with a brain defect or respiratory problems are also at risk of SIDS. Why? Late Babies diagnosed by SIDS often have cough and cold, making it tough for them to breathe. Hence, breathing problems can block your baby’s airways resulting in SIDS.

Similarly, a baby with a brain defect also often delays its instruction to breathe, change position to breathe, or wake up from the deep slumber. Another known theory of SIDS is the inability to function the arousal of sleep.

What is Arousal of the sleep? It is when you switch your deep sleep to light sleep. That is when your brain automatically brings you out of your deep sleep without actually waking you up but still keeping you in present to wake up at emergencies. Babies with brain defects often lose their command over the arousal of sleep.

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What Are The Causes Of SIDS?

Babies who are diagnosed by Sudden death syndrome often die because of suffocation, overheating, As a parent, you must remember these causes in order to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

  • Babies sleeping on their tummy: Why? Because sleeping on the tummy blocks the airways for a proper breathing pattern.
  • Sleeping in a heated room: Theories suggest overheating can cause SIDs in babies.
  • Cribs stuffed with blankets or soft bedding: Babies can choke and suffocate on soft blanket since they cannot get themselves out of the entanglement. Also, soft bedding can also suffocate a baby since its too loose for the baby to handle.
  • Sleeping away from your parents in a different room: If you leave your baby alone and are not there to correct its sleeping position back on its back,  the baby will suffocate itself. Since they cannot correct their positions themselves.
  • Mothers choosing not to breastfeed: Babies who are breastfed develop a stronger immune system than those who are not! a stronger immune system will guarantee a stronger respiratory system and brain development.
  • Sleeping in the same bed: Babies are never ready for adult beds until they are 2 years plus. Sleeping in the same bed with parents might also result in suffocating your baby with your body weight. Hence do not sleep in the same bed, but don’t sleep in different rooms either.
  • Too much intake of carbon dioxide: When babies are not provided with enough space and ventilation, they might consume their own carbon dioxide.
  • Mothers who smoke or prolonged exposure to smoke can also be hazardous to infants.

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How To Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

The riskiest days for infants are from day one to four months. Give extra care, love, breastmilk to your baby. Also, don’t let them away from your eyesight. Even if Baby monitor machines promote SIDS prevention, it’s not wise to leave them alone.

  • Keep your baby in the same room with you: Don’t sleep with them in the same bed but keep their crib in your room. There are co-sleeper bassinets that connect your baby’s crib to your bed.
  • Always check your baby’s posture is on their back: Keep checking your baby’s sleeping posture. That is, always keep them on their back so that they don’t block the airways.
  • Use a swaddle to keep them tucked in. Swaddle reduces hands/legs movements.
  • Keep your baby’s crib bedding firm and with zero creases to avoid suffocation.
  • Do not put any toys or blankets either in the crib.
  • Keep your baby’s room at moderate room temperature to avoid overheating.
  • Don’t smoke around your baby and keep your baby’s room free of smoke or smokers.
  • Breastfeed your baby to build their immune system and brain development.
  • Also, choose a room for your baby that’s ventilated and has enough space.
  • Avoid co-sleeping but sleep in the same bed.
  • Make sure you get all the Immunization done irrespective of SIDS/sudden infant death syndrome fear. Immunization strengthens your baby’s immune system to fight off diseases and be strong enough to help themselves.
  • Teaching tummy time to your baby will help them hold their body and roll it over when they get on the wrong side.
  • Don’t sleep in the car seat, sofa, etc. The surface is too irregular and your baby might suffocate on them.

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