Reducing SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

For reducing SIDS, the best approach is a combination of knowledge and precaution.

It is important to know what SIDS is, along with what are its causes and finally, how to go about reducing SIDS risk.

SIDS statistics present an alarming picture, with more than 4500 infants dying in the United States every year, without an identifiable cause, pointing toward an urgent need for SIDS awareness. Even though the history of SIDS shows a drop in the figures, these SIDS stats are still quite worrisome.

So, what is SIDS?

The term is defined as a sudden, unexpected death of an infant less than 1 year of age, without any medically explainable cause.

Known facts about SIDS point towards two Basic Methods for Reducing SIDS

  • SIDS prevention through an effort to recognize relevant SIDS causes.
  • To reduce SIDS that occurs due to the known sleep-related causes. For instance, parents are always advised to prevent all sorts of smoke around their baby, pre and postnatal. In fact, SIDS and smoking have always been correlated, with smoke being one of the common causes of SIDS.

The danger of SIDS looms large on all infants, but there are some babies and newborns that are especially vulnerable.

A few of these SIDS risk factors include:

sleeping baby
  • Infants less than 6 months old.
  • Premature babies.
  • Male babies are at higher risk.
  • A family history of SIDS.
  • Twins and triplets.
  • Formula fed babies (breastfed babies are at much lower risk)

SIDS and Sleep-related Patterns

Here, we give you detailed information on SIDS that will address issues like whether pillow use and SIDS are correlated or, whether SIDS in infants is caused due to the wrong choice of mattresses, blankets, etc...

Top Tips to Prevent SIDS Deaths

1. To prevent SIDS, a baby's face should always be left uncovered. Avoid the use of any pillows or soft toys in the cot.

2. Avoid over-heating your baby when he/she is sleeping. Maintaining the right temperature around your baby can considerably help in the prevention of SIDS.

3. It is essential that you use SIDS approved baby products, such as SIDS mattresses. Also, with the right use of accessories like a proper baby blanket, SIDS risk factor can be minimized.   

4. As far as possible, allow your baby to sleep on his/her back, to reduce the risk of SIDS, especially when the baby is sleeping alone.

5. If possible, try to have your baby sleep in his/her own cot or bed next to your bed for at least the first year of life. In fact, many SIDS stories talk of infant deaths that happen when newborns sleep in between the parents and are accidentally suffocated.

6. Kangaroo mother care is recommended. Safe co-sleeping guidelines to follow. 

7. Avoid having alcohol, especially if you are co-sleeping. In fact, SIDS associations and SIDS books that talk about the baby and SIDS, warn against any kind of intoxication if you are sleeping next to the infant, as you could easily roll over and suffocate your baby.

8. Be extra careful between 2-4 months of age. That’s when most of the infant deaths that are SIDS related usually happen.

9. Use a baby SIDS monitor, one that monitors a baby’s breath and lets you know if the baby has not been breathing for a particular gap of time.

10. Last but not least, breastfeeding your baby can reduce SIDS risk dramatically. Learn more about all the advantages of breastfeeding here. 

By Jasmin Panuu

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