Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is one of the scariest things every parent has to keeps an eye on. Since it has already caused numerous deaths, the ways to reduce its existence is extremely crucial to learn. For this reason, we prepared the things every parent has to consider in order to keep their child safe. Are you a parent? Would you like to save your child from this health risk? If you do, then you have the best reasons to keep in tune.
According to experts, SIDS or Sudden Infant Syndrome are encountered by a child who has an immature arousal center in the brain. Simply said, the child is not capable of waking self when experiencing trouble breathing. This causes death and it is more common on children sleeping on their stomach. Theory suggests that the position adds the chance of re-inhaling oxygen-depleted air.
Who has the Greater Chance of Having SIDS?
A special assistant for SIDS in Bethesda, Maryland, Marian Willinger, Ph.D. from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development says that the highest point of danger is from 2 to 4 months. For this reason, it is important for parents to keep an eye on their child until the baby turns the age of 1. There are 3 out of 5 SIDS victims are male. Native American and African-American infants are 2 to three times higher in the chance of having the syndrome.
On the other hand, other groups who are considered with increased risk include low-birthweight babies, preemies, as well as babies who are being exposed to the smoke of a cigarette. Unfortunately, there are parents who don’t consider their child safety. Like so, there are people who are not aware of the danger they impose on other people.
What You Can Do To Reduce the Risk of SIDS?
There are some ways you can apply in order to reduce the risk of SIDS and keep your baby safe from this syndrome. Read and follow them carefully so you can share them with other parents too. Some of the methods on the list might already familiar to you but it is still important to review them. Learn the new and traditional ways of reducing SIDS risk below.
Always Position a Baby to Sleep on his Back
The safest position for babies to sleep is on their back. Parents have to keep an eye on their child until they reach the age of 1 when they can already sleep on their stomach. All babies who are always sleeping on their backs but then placed to sleep on the other way are likely to be at risk. In the same way, preemies or infants that are born preterm has to be positioned on their backs to sleep as well. It has to be their automatic position as soon as possible after the infant’s birth.
Breastfeed Your Baby
We all know that breastfeeding offers a wide array of health benefits for a mother and child. Babies who are drinking breast milk either directly to their mother’s breast or through a bottle has a lower risk for SIDS. This is compared to those babies who never fed with breastmilk. Moreover, the longer the time when a child is fed exclusively with breastmilk results to lower SIDS risk.
However, you have to make sure to put your baby in a separate sleeping area after breastfeeding. Study shows that the longer an infant and parent share a bed, the greater the risk of sleep-related infant death. This is due to suffocation and other issues.
Use a Flat and Firm Surface with Fitted Sheet
Never let your baby sleep on a couch, waterbed, quilt, pillow, blanket, sheepskin, sofa, blanket, or anything that has soft surfaces. These can impose a great danger to your babies. For the same reason, do not use a stroller, car seat, swing, infant sling, infant carrier, or anything that is similar to your baby’s constant sleep area. If you follow these recommendations accordingly, you will be able to reduce the risk of SIDS and death for your child as well as injury caused by entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation.
Keep your Baby Close to Your Bed
Sharing the same room with your baby doesn’t mean you have to share a bed with them too. Babies have to stay near to their parents so they can watch them. However, take note that infants must not sleep on a couch, adult bed, chair, alone, with anyone, with you, with a sibling, or with a pet.
Moreover, you can reduce the risk of SIDS on your child by keeping an eye on them. Also, by making sure that their sleeping area is free from any material or thing that can strangle and suffocate them. If you want to comfort your baby in a couch or in your bed, free it from soft items as well as beddings. Afterward, place baby back on his intended are of sleep that is designed for his needs such as bassinet or crib that is near your bed.
Remove Soft Objects, Crib Bumpers, Toys, Out of the Sleep Area
Parents and caregivers have to make sure that the sleeping area of the infant is free from soft objects, loose beddings, crib bumpers, toys, and many more. Following these things carefully can reduce the risk of SIDS, entrapment, strangulation, and suffocation. As a matter of fact, crib bumpers are connected to some serious injuries as well as infant deaths due to entrapment, suffocation, and strangulation. For this reason, it is important to keep your baby’s sleep area with such kind of objects.
During and After Pregnancy Women Should:
Expecting mothers should avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, and using illegal drugs like marijuana. These can obviously affect the child greatly on their womb. Moreover, every woman must get regular prenatal care on their pregnancy stage to keep their babies healthy and safe.
Give them a Pacifier for Night Time Sleep and Nap
Giving your baby a pacifier for his nap and nighttime sleep can help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, make sure to not attach the item to anything such as a toy, a string, or a blanket. These things can cause danger to your child. Like so, only give an infant a pacifier after 3 to 4 weeks of breastfeeding. Otherwise, as soon as you want.
Put in mind that you don’t have to force your baby to use a pacifier. If the item falls from your baby’s mouth during sleep, you don’t need to put it back again.
Give Your Baby Proper Ventilation
Make sure that your baby receives proper ventilation. Do not overdress your baby and make sure he wears something appropriate for the environment. For sleeping, dress him in comfortable sleep clothing like a wearable blanket that is specially designed to keep him warm. This can reduce the risk of strangulation and suffocation since you don’t have to use a loose blanket to warm him.
Parents and caregivers also have to make sure the infant is not sweating or overheating. If the baby’s chest feels hot, make sure to remove anything that covers his head and face during sleep to make him comfortable.
SIDS Frequently Asked Questions
There are also some of the most common questions related to SIDS that most people want to know. So what are they? Here are the questions and our answer.
Is Side-Sleeping Safe for Infants?
NO, it is NOT SAFE. Positioning a baby on his side will only increase the risk of SIDS in double. Side-sleeping for babies easily place him to sleep on his stomach and it’s hard for the infant to roll back. This fact is agreed by Dr. Moon, another member of AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS.
How to Prevent My Baby Flipping onto His Stomach at Night?
You CAN’T PREVENT IT. But there is nothing to worry about. In fact, according to Dr. Moon, the moment babies roll over by themselves means their brain is mature enough to avoid breathing dangers. While it is better to keep your babies on watch until he turns 1, the improved motor skills of a child at the age of 6 months allow him to rescue himself.
Is There Any Product That Can Prevent SIDS?
YES, THERE IS. A sleek sack is one of the best products that can prevent SIDS. It is basically a zip-in blanket that you can put around the baby to keep warm. This leaves baby’s head and arms free from the blanket making it safer than loose blankets.
Moreover, Cosleeper is another product which is a baby bed that you can connect to the side of an adult bed. However, make sure that there is no gap in between your baby’s bed and your bed. On the other hand, do not use a sleep positioner, a device that keeps babies sleep on their back made with foam with raised sides.
The safety of your baby is more than just important. May this information help you reduce the risk of SIDS to your child and make sure to share them to other parents and future parents as well. Follow these tips and recommendations accordingly and be the best parent ever.