SIDS study offers new solution to old problem

December 4, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) study published in the journal Pediatrics pointed to three main factors that can lead to cot death or crib death of newborns. According to the experts, a dangerous sleeping environment, preterm, and babies, whose mothers smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy, are more susceptible to SIDS. It is up to the parents/caretakers to try to eliminate the two factors that humans can control.

SIDS study

A new SIDS study by author Dr. Richard Goldstein, of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, makes it possible to eliminate certain factors that can lead to cot death.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is also referred as cot death or crib death, is the sudden unexplained death of a newborn (less than 12 months old). SIDS often occurs during sleep, between the hours of 00:00 and 09:00.

Goldstein’s study published in the journal Pediatrics stated that while the famous 1992 “Back to Sleep” campaign from the American Academy of Pediatrics that promotes having babies sleep on their backs has drastically reduced SIDS rates, other steps can be taken to prevent the deadly syndrome. The physician shared:

“I work with a lot of parents whose children have died from SIDS, and the general climate is one where, because of the success of controlling the sleep environment, the parents often feel that they are responsible for the deaths of their children. And while it is certainly the case that it is important to put your child in the safest environment possible, and that approach has had a real impact on mortality, the overall idea — the basic theory of what happens with SIDS — is a little more complicated than that.”

According to the new study, three major elements contribute to a baby’s SIDS risk:

– First, some infants may have an intrinsic predisposition to SIDS.
– Second, most babies, who die of SIDS tend to be in a critical period of development, with those younger than six months being at a higher risk of SIDS.
– The third element that contributes to the overall risk of SIDS in infants is their sleeping environment, including the position in which they sleep and the type of bedding in the crib.

Other factors include exposure to cigarette smoke and being born before 39 weeks of gestation. In conclusion, the doctor stated that the most efficient method of preventing SIDS is putting a child less than one-year-old on its back to sleep.

The crib should be fitted with a firm mattress, avoid blankets, pillows and toys in the bed. A cool sleeping environment, a pacifier, and eliminating tobacco smoke in the home are steps that also reduce SIDS.
It has also been revealed that breastfeeding and immunization may be preventive.

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