Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or crib death is a tragic event for any parent. SIDS is defined as sudden, unexplained death of an infant below one year of age. The cause of death can only be explained after a thorough medical investigation, which also includes autopsy and review of medical history, if any. SIDS is a leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. However, the peak age of SIDS is when the baby is between two to four months old. Most often, it occurs during sleep. More cases of SIDS are reported during winter season but SIDS can occur at any time of the year. Despite a lot of research, the causes behind Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remain unpredictable. A lack of answer to symptoms, causes, and treatment is what which makes SIDS so frightening. Below are some pointers, which will help you know more about SIDS.
SIDS Causes And Risks
Causes Of SIDS
- According to research and evidence, it is suggested that some babies are born with brain abnormalities, which make them vulnerable to SIDS. A baby born with this abnormality might lack protective mechanism, which senses abnormal respiration and leads baby to wake up and take a breath.
- Researches also indicate that some babies’ immune system generate a higher number of normal cells and proteins. Some of these proteins interact with the brain and alter heart rate, causing slow breathing during sleep or put baby into a deep sleep, which can be strong enough to cause death.
- Babies who sleep on their stomach may get their face caught in the bedding. This causes them to breathe much of carbon dioxide and little of oxygen. This can be a major cause of SIDS.
Who Is At Risk Of SIDS?
- Babies who are put to sleep on their stomach.
- Babies born to mothers who are less than twenty years of age.
- Babies who are born low weight or premature.
- Babies who are placed to sleep on soft surfaces like quilt, pillows, sofa, sofa cushions, sheepskins etc.
- Baby boys are at greater risk of SIDS then baby girls.
How To Reduce Risk Of SIDS?
- Always place babies on their backs to sleep. Babies who sleep on their back are less likely to die with SIDS than those babies who sleep on their stomachs. At highest risks are the babies, who are habitual of sleeping on their backs and suddenly switched to stomach sleeping.
- Place your baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface such as crib mattresses, covered with fitted sheet. Pillow, quilts, sheepskin, or any other kind of soft surface should not be used as sleeping surface for a baby.
- Smoking cigarettes during or after pregnancy puts baby at higher risk of SIDS. So, mothers during pregnancy and when breastfeeding babies should avoid smoking or usage of other drugs
- Keep toys, loose bedding, blanket, quits or pillows away from your baby’s sleeping area. Make sure that all these items are away from your baby’s face.
- While putting your baby to sleep, dress your baby in light sleep clothing and don’t keep the room temperature too high. Keep the room temperature, which is comfortable for an adult.
- Use clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down to sleep. However, you shouldn’t force the baby to take it. If you are breastfeeding, then wait until your child is one month old before giving him/her a pacifier.