Infant Sleep Safety – Lessening the Dangers of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the greatest recognized cause of death in infants under twelve months of age. This frightening condition happens while the baby is asleep. Unfortunately, so far there unfortunately is not a known cure, or even a known reason in fact, as to why some infants are affected by the syndrome while others aren’t. The fact is though that over 2,500 infants die in America yearly from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Even though the number of infant deaths have been cut by approximately forty percent by the instigation of preventative measures and following baby sleep safety techniques to protect infants from SIDS, there unfortunately is not a known way at present to fully evade the occurrence of cot death.

Tips for Baby Sleep Safety

*Make sure your baby sleeps on his or her back. Cot death has been closely linked to children sleeping on their tummies.

*Ensure your baby sleeps on a firm mattress. Avoid certain fluffy toys or baby pillows that could cause suffocation.

*Don’t let your child overheat in the night. Infants have a body temperature that is higher than an adult and do not need so many blankets – do not let infant be cold either though!

*Don’t take drugs, drink alcohol or smoke either before or after your baby’s birth. Smoke from cigarettes is known to be a contributing factor to SIDS.

*Join in with early and parental care clinics, specifically if you are a parent for the first time.

*Breast feed your infant if it is at all possible. Breast fed babies are statistically much less likely to be affected by SIDS.

*Consider giving your child a pacifier throughout the first 12 months of life. It is not known why but infants that are given a pacifier during this time are much less likely to be claimed by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

*Do not sleep with your infant in the same bed or let him or her sleep in a normal adult bed. A baby has a higher chance of suffocation when in a bed that has been designed for adults. It is fine to comfort and feed an infant in bed as long as he or she is taken back to his or her proper cot afterwards.

SIDS is not the same as any other disease or syndrome. Most conditions surrounding the death of a baby are diagnosed by symptoms associated with the death. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome however is only normally diagnosed once other possibilities are dismissed.

Risk Factors

There are a few specific trends or notable risk factors that can be observed in data regarding SIDS. The risks should be considered by mothers and fathers that have infants in a high-risk category.

*Boys are more likely than girls to die from SIDS. There is little that can be done about this fact, it is simply included here as a notation.

*Drinking alcohol, drug use and smoking are thought to be some of the main contributory factors to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In simple terms, if you value the health of your infant, do not use destructive drugs like these!

*Poor parental care. First-time or young parents are at the greatest risk. However, if a parent ensures that they get early and frequent parental care checks and also have the backing of their family and friends, there is much less chance of this happening.

*Babies born prematurely are at an increased Dangers of SIDS. Premature babies at birth have a disadvantage initially and can often be quite fragile and under developed. This is once again more of a note than a specific prevention.

*Mothers who are less than 20 years of age are at danger of having a child die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This can be for a diversification of reasons such as simple inexperience or accidental neglect.

By using the tips above and ensuring that you are aware of the dangers and also implementing the infant sleep safety precautions you can lower the likelihood of losing a infant to SIDS. For parents who have sadly lost a infant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome there are numerous excellent support groups available to assist in going through the process of grieving.

Chris Towland