SIDS Risks And Prevention

SIDS refers to “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” This is a medical term that is used to describe the unexplained and sudden death of an infant after other causes have been ruled out completely. Most victims of SIDS appear health prior to death. SIDS affects around 7,000 babies in the United States each year.

There are certain factors which may increase the risk of SIDS. These risk factors do not directly cause SIDS; research suggests that as many as 2/3 of SIDS victims do not have any of these risk factors. And, having these risk factors does not guarantee that a baby will be the victim of SIDS. By following the procedures below, it may be possible to reduce these risk factors:

– While you are pregnant, do not smoke. Some research has suggested something of a connection between smoking by the pregnant mom-to-be and SIDS.

– Make sure the surface that your baby is sleeping on is sufficiently firm.

– Do no keep soft objects, such as toys or stuffed animals, in the crib. This also includes things like pillows and quilts.

– Keep your baby’s crib close by, so that you can have easy access. This also helps with nighttime feedings.

– Bed-sharing is not recommended. Your baby should have a close but separate sleeping surface.

– Use of a pacifier has recently been linked to a reduction in SIDS risk. When deciding on whether to allow your baby a pacifier, this must be considered.

– Make sure your baby is warm, but not overheated. Avoid over-bundling your baby. Her room should be at a temperature comfortable to a clothed adult.

– Commercially available devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS may or may not help at all. There are none that are currently FDA approved.

– Place your baby on her back when it is time to sleep. Research shows that side-sleeping babies may be at a higher risk for SIDS. Side sleeping is considered to be less stable than back sleeping. In addition, some infants who sleep on their side will roll and wind up sleeping prone.