SIDS is an abbreviation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a condition which causes the sudden inexplicable death of an infant. The fact that it cannot possible be explained means that it can take a while before the concerned parties realize that this was the cause of death. Perhaps the fact that answers are not readily available makes this condition a frightening reality. In many cases, the child’s primary caregiver puts the baby to sleep, only to find them dead. The hardest part has to be accepting that SIDS can happen to just about anyone, no matter how much effort is put into caring for the baby. To date, science has not established any specific causes of sudden infant death syndrome, but it seems as though there are conditions that will predispose a baby to it.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlpOKxa-Gxs”]
SIDS appears to be prevalent in babies who are born prematurely as well as those who, at birth, have a very low birth weight. This has also been witnessed in mothers who did not receive proper medical attention as at the time of pregnancy as well as mothers who smoked. For some reason, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is also likely to occur in babies who were delivered following multiple pregnancies as is the case with twins and triplets. Young mothers (those who are below the age of 20) are also likely to experience this syndrome once their babies are born. There are other risk factors that have been shown to lead to the syndrome, and they include:
- Placing babies to sleep on their bellies as this has been shown to interfere with normal breathing. In recent times, side sleeping was advocated for but this was sidelined as it placed babies at risk of rolling down so that they end up sleeping on their bellies.
- There is the possibility that SIDS could arise from issues that concern how breathing is controlled by the brain in line with how the heart beats during the first few months of life.
How is the diagnosis of SIDS carried out and what can be done to reduce its chances of occurrence?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is attributed to be the cause of death when no other cause is pinpointed. To do this effectively, the medical professionals will inquire about the child’s medical history as well as make a review of all the events that preceded the death. Autopsy reports are availed once this is complete. To reduce the chances of SIDS, the following tips are advised:
- Place the baby to sleep on their back as opposed to their stomach.
- Avoid the use of drugs during pregnancy as this predisposes the baby to SIDS.
- Studies have shown that co-sleeping with the baby could cause this syndrome, so it is advisable to allow the baby to sleep in a crib or cradle in the same room as the mother.
- The importance of breastfeeding cannot be underestimated as far as reducing the chances of SIDS are concerned. In line with this, ensure that the baby is immunized.