It is SIDS Awareness Month this October
While the prevalence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the United States has decreased by 50% over the last 20 years, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for U.S. infants 1 month to 1 year of age.
What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a cause assigned to infant deaths that cannot be explained after a thorough case investigation, including a scene investigation, autopsy, and review of the clinical history.
Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), also known as sudden unexpected death in infancy, is a term used to describe any sudden and unexpected death, whether explained or unexplained (including SIDS), that occurs during infancy. After case investigation, SUIDs can be attributed to suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, infection, ingestion, metabolic diseases, arrhythmia-associated cardiac channelopathies, and trauma (accidental or nonaccidental).
The distinction between SIDS and other SUIDs, particularly those that occur during an observed or unobserved sleep period (sleep-related infant deaths), such as accidental suffocation, is challenging and cannot be determined by autopsy alone. Scene investigation and review of the clinical history are also required. Many of the modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors for SIDS and suffocation are strikingly similar. (Read more)
SIDS Awareness Month was created by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as a means to empower parents with information to help them reduce SIDS risk factors in their homes.
The exact cause of SIDS remains unknown—in fact, researchers suspect multiple conditions may lead to SIDS—but we do know many ways to reduce a baby’s risk.
Reduce Risk - Create a Safe Sleep Environment
The AAP has provided recommendations on a safe sleeping environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS.
- Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
- Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
- The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
- Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
- Wedges and positioners should not be used.
- A pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
- Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
- Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
- Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
- Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations. Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
- Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
- Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
All of us at Raybaby are committed to creating a safer sleep environment and hope that this information is useful to all you new parents in your wonderful parenting journey.