What Do You Need to Know About Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? (SIDS)
Being a new mommy is not all rainbows and unicorns. That's why, in today’s post, we are going to talk about a serious topic. Did you know that, even though you pay as much attention as you can to your widdo ones and you take care of them thoroughly, there is a chance they don’t survive to their first year of life? There is something called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and it is just as bad as it sounds. However, there are ways to prevent it!
Today, we will learn together what it is, what are the risk factors of SIDS, and how to reduce the probabilities this happens to your baby.
So what is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a very inexplicable phenomenon we will try to understand better together. It’s often called Crib Death or Cot Death because babies who suffer from this pass away during their sleep. It can happen to perfectly healthy babies and most pediatricians agree that SIDS attacks babies who sleep on their stomach because they can’t breathe correctly.
October is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome awareness month. This initiative came from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is constantly pursuing a clear understanding of the reasons behind this syndrome and how to prevent it.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome high-risk age range
The first year of their life is critical and SIDS happen to babies who are less than 12 months old, but Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is most common in babies between the ages of 2 months to 4 months.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome statistics
According to the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 1,500 deaths due to SIDS happened. The page of the Illinois Department of Public Health declares that the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome stats are, approximately, 2,500 cases per year. It also states that SIDS is the third leading cause of infant mortality. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia declares a higher number: according to them, 4,500 babies die from this syndrome per year in the United States.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome symptoms
There are no symptoms you can spot on time to prevent your baby from suffering SIDS. It affects babies suddenly BUT you can recognize the risk factors that increase your baby's chances to suffer SIDS, and you can also prevent your baby from suffering it.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome risk factors
Even though this can happen to healthy babies, SIDS babies have the following risk factors:
⦁ Babies who sleep on their tummy: Believe it or not, this is the first risk factor that can lead your baby to die during their sleep because it interferes with their breathing and can also cause rebreathing.
⦁ Some studies revealed that babies that were born with a malformation of brain parts, like the arcuate nucleus, are more prone to suffer from SIDS, as well as babies who were born with body abnormalities.
⦁ Cold months and respiratory diseases: A high number of babies who died from SIDS had respiratory infections. Colder months can trigger respiratory diseases and babies can lack oxygen when sleeping.
⦁ Immune system problems: SIDS babies tend to produce a higher amount of cells and proteins.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and vaccines: According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, studies haven’t shown a correlation between SIDS and vaccines. You can learn more about it in their article ⦁ here.
⦁ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Smoking: There is a correlation between prenatal care and SIDS. Mothers who didn’t take appropriate care of themselves (smoked, drank alcohol, etc.) during their pregnancy give birth babies who are more prone to suffer from SIDS.
⦁ Baby boys, babies born with low weight or prematurely are more prone to SIDS.
⦁ If a baby in your family passed away from SIDS, your baby is at risk as well.
⦁ How to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
First and most importantly, DO NOT put your baby on their tummy. They can lay down on their stomachs for certain periods of time but you have to supervise them. When placing them in their cribs to sleep, you have to put them on their backs. The American Academy of Pediatrics created the “Back to Sleep” campaign, which encouraged parents to place their babies on their backs to sleep. Other recommendations include:
⦁ Place your baby on a firm mattress.
⦁ Keep toys and soft objects away from your baby’s sleeping area.
⦁ Don't use bumper pads in cribs since it could suffocate your baby.
⦁ Don’t overheat your baby or the room your baby is sleeping in.
We learned a lot about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I hope this information can prepare you to take even better care of your widdo ones.
Share what you have learned with other mommies who might not know about SIDS!