Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

 

What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant, less than one year of age.

 

The specific cause of SIDS remains unknown. However there are certain risk factors that include sleeping position, exposure to tobacco smoke and overheating.

 

Sleep Position

Research has shown that babies who sleep on their back have a reduced risk of SIDS compared to babies who sleep on their tummy or side.

 

Normal healthy babies do not choke or have any other problems resulting from sleeping on their back. It is not necessary to force babies to stay on their back once they have mastered the ability to turn on their own.

 

Exposure to Tobacco Smoke

Babies who have been exposed to tobacco smoke either before or after birth have an increased risk for SIDS compared to those who have not been exposed.

 

Overheating

Research indicates that babies who become too hot have an increased risk of SIDS. If a room temperature is comfortable for parents, it is fine for baby too. Check the back of baby's neck for perspiration -your baby should not be sweating.

 

Breastfeeding

Because breast milk has significant nutritional and immunological benefits for babies, it may offer some protection against SIDS.

 

Crib Products

Avoid the use of bumper pads, soft mattresses, pillows, comforters and stuffed toys in your baby's crib. These can impede adequate air circulation and can also lead to suffocation.

 

Recommendations

Place normal healthy babies on their back to sleep

Provide a smoke-free environment

Dress and cover babies in a manner that avoids overheating

Breastfeed your baby

Avoid unnecessary items in your baby's crib

 

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