Sudden infant death syndrome (what are causes and prevention)

Sudden infant death syndrome is the unexpected death for babies below one year happens typically when the baby is asleep with no clear reasons.

In short, it is well known as SIDS.

Sudden infant death syndrome is also known as cot death or crib death.

Sudden infant death syndrome causes and prevention

What are symptoms?

No symptom can explain the cause of death usually happens when the child is below one year.  Most of the babies who die because of Sudden infant death syndrome are in good health, no evidence of struggle or noise produced.

Main causes of Sudden infant death syndrome

Although, the cause of Sudden infant death syndrome is unknown researchers have discovered some factors that might put your baby at risk.

These factors include:

  • Baby with a brain defect

Babies who are born with a problem might be at high risk of Sudden infant death syndrome. Most of these babies their portion of the brain that controls the breathing is not matured, and awakening from asleep has not fully developed.

  • Low birth weight or premature birth

Babies with low birth weight or babies born prematurely have a likelihood they are not fully matured, so they have less control of the breathing and heart rate.

Premature births are the babies who are born below 37 weeks

  • Respiratory problem

Babies who have a problem associated with respiratory has high chances of Sudden infant death syndrome. The problems like the cold might cause breathing problems.

  • Placing a baby to sleep on the stomach or side

Researchers brief that babies who are put to sleep on their stomach may block the airway and have more problem breathing putting them at risk of Sudden infant death syndrome.

Why is tummy sleeping linked to Sudden infant death syndrome?

The stomach position puts the babyface on the mattress/ sleeping surface blocking the airways, therefore, increases the chance of Sudden infant death syndrome.

Also, put your baby to sleep on the side is at risk or unstable because the baby can roll and sleep on the stomach.

  • Co-sleeping

It is recommended to sleep in the same room with your baby, but you should not share the same bed with the caregivers, pets, parents, and siblings.

The adult bed is not safe for babies there is a space between the frame and the mattress when the baby can be trapped and suffocate.

Also, the space between the mattress and the wall is also risky for your child. He can get trapped and suffocate.

In case the parent, sibling, or caregiver can roll over and covers the baby nose or mouth, therefore, blocking the airways causing suffocation.

  • Overheating

Sleep in the room that is too hot can lead to SIDS or even overdressing your little one.

  • Putting the baby to sleep on a soft surface with beddings, toys or pillows near the face can block the airway leading to reduced breathing, therefore, increase the risk of SIDS.
  • Babies who live with smokers have high chances of SIDS
  • When the mother is pregnant smokes cigarettes, uses drugs or drinks alcohol might increases the chances of SIDS.
  • If the mother gets pregnant when she is younger than 20 years increases your baby chance of SIDS.

Who is at higher risk for SID DEATH?

Boys are more likely to die of SIDS than girls.

Non-white infant (African-Americans, Native Americans, and Alaska natives) then white, Hispanic American or Asian/Pacific Islander American infants have high chances of SIDS for a reason not well known.

Infants who have had siblings or cousins die of SID are at high chances of SIDS.

How do you prevent SID?

There is no assurance way s to prevent SIDS, but there are some cautions/tips that you can practice while putting your baby to sleep to reduce the risk. Those tips include:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should place the baby to sleep on his back it helps prevent SIDS.

Do not put your baby to sleep for a very long time on the stroller, car seat or swing.

The baby crib should have a firm mattress avoid placing the baby on thick and fluffy pads such as lambskin.

Do not leave pillows, bumper pads, fluffy toys or stuffed animals in the crib it can block the baby airway if the babyface press on them.

Do not overdress the baby when sleeping or cover the babyface while sleeping. You can use a sleep sack or wearable blanket that you do not require additional blankets or covers. Blankets can tangle your baby or cover the baby’s face. In addition to overheating your baby should never sleep on an electric mattress, direct sunlight or near a radiator.

Have your baby sleep in your room but not on the same bed. You can have crib or bassinet for your baby for at least one year.

Avoid sharing the couch or chair with your baby.

Do not smoke, use drugs or drink alcohol when you are pregnant stopping all those habits can help reduce the risk of SIDS. In the same case while you are breastfeeding you should not smoke, take alcohol or use any drug.

Do not allow anyone to smoke near or around your baby.

Exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first six months can prevent the high risk of SIDS.

Immunizations help prevent your baby’s risk of SIDS.

The use of pacifier without straps or string during naptime can help reduce SIDS though no one who has a good reason why.

Try to keep off gadget or product that says can help reduce the risk of SIDS such as baby monitor because are not proven anywhere.

What is the peak age for SID?

The problem is most familiar to babies from 1 to 4 months but can happen anytime for babies below one year.

Minimizing the risk of SIDS

Let us know the information you know about Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the comment section below.

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