Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year of age. SIDS usually occurs during sleep. The exact cause of SIDS is unknown. However, there are several factors that may trigger SIDS, such as, sleeping on the stomach or side, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke. Accidental suffocation such as during bed sharing or from soft objects may also play a role. Another risk factor is being born before 39 weeks of gestation.
It is extremely difficult for any parent to lose their child. It causes a huge emotional impact in their lives. Practicing the following points can help to avoid the risk of SIDS in babies:
The risk of SIDS is higher if the baby sleeps on his stomach or sideways. These positions may cover the baby’s face and cause suffocation. So, every time you put your baby in his bed to sleep, lay him down on his back.
Lay your baby on a firm mattress or in a crib to prevent smothering or suffocation. All your baby’s crib needs is the fitted sheet; don’t put blankets, quilts, pillows, sheepskin, stuffed toys, or crib bumpers in your baby’s crib.
Quit smoking before you get pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy is a major risk factor for SIDS, and secondly smoke around your infant also increases the chances of SIDS. Don’t let anyone smoke around your baby.
Never bring the baby to bed with you. Make the baby sleep near you but not with you. It’s dangerous for a baby to sleep with another child or an adult in the same bed, in an armchair, and on a couch.
Breastfeeding your baby can lower the risk of SIDS, but do not drink alcohol if you breastfeed, because that raises your baby’s risk of SIDS.
Dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping, and keep the room temperature at a level that’s comfortable for an adult. Overheating may raise the risk of SIDS.