Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Alternate Names : SIDS, Crib Death
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Because the causes of SIDS are not known,
it is hard to tell which specific babies may die of SIDS. So prevention is
aimed at all babies and pregnant women.
THE most important action parents can take
to prevent SIDS in their babies is to put them to sleep on their backs, whether
at naptime or at night!
Babies sleeping on their sides or stomachs are 2 to 9 times as likely to
die of SIDS.
Babies who are exposed to smoke in the home have twice
the risk of SIDS as babies who live in a smoke-free environment. Every
effort should be made to provide a smoke-free environment, both before
the baby is born, and in the home
and any day care settings during the early months of life.
Other measures that can help prevent some
cases of sudden infant death include the following.
Avoid fluffy blankets, covers, sheepskins, stuffed toys,
and pillows in the baby's crib or other sleeping areas.
Place the baby on a firm mattress, not on a pillow or sofa, to sleep.
Don't let the baby overheat during sleep. Keep the room warm,
but not too warm. The room should be kept at a temperature that feels
comfortable to an adult. Too many layers of blankets or clothes can overheat
Make sure the baby's face and head stay uncovered during sleep.
Tuck the blanket into the crib mattress, with the top of the blanket
no higher than the baby's chest.
Don't put the baby to sleep on a water bed.
Put the baby on his or her stomach when awake and being watched
closely. This can help the baby learn to strengthen shoulder and neck
the expectant mother can take the following measures to help prevent SIDS:
Avoid drugs and alcohol.
if she smokes.
Get good prenatal care throughout the pregnancy. Also, practice
a healthy lifestyle, including eating the right food and getting regular
Also, the following actions can help maintain the baby's
health, in general:
regular well-baby checkups with the doctor
Attempts to prevent SIDS through the use of heartbeat
and breathing monitors in the home have not been found to be
effective and are rarely used.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
SIDS often results in feelings of guilt, sadness,
and anger in the parents and other family members.
What are the risks to others?
The risk to others involves the grieving process in those