SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a traumatic experience that can affect any parent, and it has extremely tragic consequences. As a parent of a little one, there are some important SIDS risk factors that you should be aware of to keep your baby healthy. Read on to learn more about these risk factors as explained by Dr. Dafna Ahdoot and what you can do to minimize reduce risk of SIDS.
What is SIDS?
SIDS is short for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and is the leading cause of death in infants that are one month to one year old. SIDS falls under umbrella teen SUID- Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and divided into 2 categories SIDS and other true causes of death like suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, infection, ingestion, metabolic diseases, arrhythmia, and sure trauma (non-accidental and accidental.)
SIDS deaths are usually unexplainable, but they’re most often associated with sleep, and the parents don’t know anything is wrong until it’s too late. While there is no known “cure” for SIDS, there are some ways that parents can minimize the risks to ensure that your baby stays happy and healthy. Unfortunately, there may not be any obvious SIDS symptoms that can warn parents of the issue in advance. However, knowing the risk factors for SIDS can help parents be more aware and proactive throughout their child’s infancy stages.
SIDS Risk Factors
While SIDS is not preventable, there are many risk factors that you should know about to help you reduce the chances of SIDS.
- Babies should always sleep on their backs until their first birthday as sleeping on the tummy can increase chances. Don’t allow your baby to sleep in your bed with you, in their car seat, in a swing, or any other area unless it is their crib, playpen, or bassinet so they can lay down on their back. Pacifier use can reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Use a tight-fitting sheet and make sure the baby’s mattress is firm. Keep items like pillows, stuffed animals, and other soft objects like bumper pads out of the crib.
- Do not smoke or drink while pregnant, and avoid breathing secondhand smoke whenever possible. Never smoke around your baby, and never smoke at all if you’re breastfeeding.
- Make sure you’re getting quality prenatal care so you can discuss any concerns with your doctor. They can also monitor your baby’s development and make sure there are no other signs of any health issues.
- Proper nutrition is important, and you can help this with a quality baby supplement.
- Make sure your baby is getting all of the recommended vaccinations and immunizations as recommended by your pediatrician. Studies have shown that babies who receive their vaccines on the proper recommended schedule have a 50 percent lower risk of SIDS.
Below, Dr. Dafna Ahdoot discusses SIDS risk factors on the Dr. Phil show:
How common is SIDS
On average, 2,300 babies in the U.S. die from SIDS each year. There are some babies who are more at risk for SIDS than others. Black and Native American infants have a higher chance of dying from SIDS than Caucasian infants. In addition, it is more common amongst infant boys than girls. Also, the weather does play a factor and is generally more common in the fall and winter. If you want to know, what percentage of babies die from SIDS, SIDS affects 38 in every 100,000 babies. So as a parent you’ll want to pay attention to any SIDS prevention protocol and this consists of cutting off smoking, drinking, and or drug use during pregnancy and even after birth.
Breastfeeding your baby can help as well as being sure that you are not overheating your newborn. As for moms, keeping a healthy weight during your pregnancy is vital for a healthy pregnancy. There is a long list of SIDS risk factors and if you want to know how to prevent SIDS you should take a look above at the list we have mentioned. Unfortunately, as far as the warning signs of SIDS, there are none. There are no symptoms or warning signs of SIDS as this can happen with no symptoms whatsoever.
When does SIDS risk end?
The most common age for SIDS is between 2 and 4 months, therefore generally around 6 months, your baby’s risk for SIDS decreases. After one year of age, sudden infant death syndrome is completely rare. It’s hard to pinpoint one reason as to why a child can be at risk for SIDS being that there are several factors and there is not necessarily one reasoning. So if you want to know what causes SIDS in babies it’s hard to say one thing in particular because research has yet to prove that one thing specifically to cause this sudden death syndrome.
Know the SIDS Risk Factors
Once you’re aware of the SIDS risk factors, you can be more proactive in ensuring that your baby is safe throughout the night and although there are no direct warning signs of SIDS, you can be precautious by avoiding things that could be potentially harmful. SIDS prevention can be difficult being that it’s hard to determine whether or not your child is at risk for sudden death syndrome, but being sure to eliminate anything that can be detrimental to your baby’s health is the first step. Communicate with any caregivers and emphasize that your baby must sleep on his or her back, so they know the proper position.
Never smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding, and keep soft items out of the crib so your baby has room to breathe and move. Co-sleeping is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) but not in the same bed. Invest in a co-sleeper for safe co-sleeping. Since the most common age for SIDS is between 2 and 4 months, after the first year you can be more at ease with knowing that the chances are now reduced and they are past the stage of getting sudden death syndrome. If you want to know more ways how to prevent SIDS, do you best to follow a healthy lifestyle for both you and your child because although the list of what causes SIDS is far from few, you can create healthy habits before, after, and during birth.
These simple practices will help you reduce the risk of SIDS from happening to you and your family.