What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?: The Essential Facts All Parents Should Know
Are you having a baby coming soon? Or maybe you just recently had a newborn? A new baby is stressful enough, especially for first-time parents. and there are tons of things to be aware of when it comes to baby safety.
The first couple of months after your baby’s birth is the most crucial in healthy development, and you should be aware of the types of risks associate with this time. One of the most devastating illnesses to be aware of is knowing and understanding what is sudden infant death syndrome.
If you want to know more about sudden infant death syndrome and ways to prevent it, you will want to keep reading to have all your questions answered below.
What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, accounted for 38.7% of infant death causes in 2018. This is a staggeringly high number for the number of innovations and medical advancements that have happened over the past few years.
So what is sudden infant death syndrome? It is when a child under the age of one suddenly and unexpectedly dies usually in their sleep.
There isn’t a clear link as to why this happens, but it seems that it potentially is linked to the brain’s ability to communicate waking up and breathing during sleep. Even though the why isn’t fully answered yet, physicians and researchers are finding some potential factors that lead to sudden infant death syndrome occurring.
What Are the Risks?
Physicians and researchers point to the where and how of the baby’s sleeping as a risk for sudden infant death syndrome. This means it’s important to be aware of the type of sleeping arrangement, bedding, and position the baby is in to help prevent SIDS from happening.
There are also three physical factors that play a part in the probability of SIDS. These are brain defects at the time of birth, low birth weight or premature birth, and respiratory infections that may contribute to breathing problems and therefore increase the chance of SIDS occurring.
In addition to the sleeping arrangements and physical factors, there are several more contributing risk factors to SIDS occurrences. SIDS seems to affect infants between the ages of two and four months and affecting boys more than girls. Family history of SIDS and secondhand smoking are also high-risk factors for SIDS.
Be sure to speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have so that they can discuss them further with you.
I’m Currently Pregnant, Can I Do Anything?
If you are currently pregnant and expecting your newborn baby, there are things you can start doing before your baby is born to decrease the chance of sudden infant death syndrome.
You as a mother also carry risk factors for increased chances of SIDS development. Women under the age of 20, those who are smokers or drug users, and those without proper prenatal care have a higher chance of their infant dying from SIDS.
This is one of the important reasons why smoking is not recommended for pregnant women, and maintaining proper prenatal care should be a priority. The best thing you can do for your baby is to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. Schedule a doctor appointment immediately after finding out you are expecting to ensure you are receiving the right care right off the bat.
I Have A Newborn, What Can I Do to Prevent It?
Firstly congratulations on your newborn! The first couple of months can be the most stressful time for new parents as you’re getting settled into a new routine with a brand new addition. SIDS may be the last thing on your mind, but it should still be something you’re aware and mindful of.
Make sure that your baby’s sleeping space is not crowded with loose materials like blankets, covers, or pillows. Those materials can get bunched up and in your baby’s face preventing them from breathing properly, which increases the chance for SIDS. If you’re worried about your baby getting cold while they’re sleeping, a full-body pajama that covers their feet and hands would suffice.
Speaking of material, your baby’s clothing shouldn’t include anything that can get pulled up over their face. Clothes should be close fitting without being too constricting where they may suppress circulation.
Additionally, you should look into a baby monitor that can help you keep track of your baby while they’re sleeping. Be sure to check out the baby breathing monitor reviews online to avoid a disappointing purchase. This might help you ease any anxieties you may have while you’re not in the room with them.
If you or anyone in your home is a smoker, secondhand smoke exposure is just as bad, if not worse, now as it was while pregnant. The smoke exposure can damage lung development and lead to many types of breathing complications both short-term and long-term.
Understanding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Taking your time as a parent-to-be or a newborn parent, to understand what is sudden infant death syndrome can be life-saving. Knowing the types of risks and factors associated with this illness can help you in determining your prevention strategies to make sure your baby lives a happy and healthy life.
Be sure to discuss a health assessment from your doctor to help come up with the perfect prenatal plan for you. You may also want to ask about any other helpful suggestions and tips in keeping your baby’s SIDS risk down to a minimum.
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