Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
, is a term used when a baby dies without explanation, usually during sleep. Also known as 'cot or crib' death, SIDS can occur for a variety of reasons. Some babies are born with an abnormality in the part of the brain that controls breathing.
Babies who are born underweight are at high risk from SIDS as their organs aren't as strong or as developed. Other babies encounter SIDS when they have a respiratory infection like a cold or flu which causes breathing difficulties. Sometimes SIDS occurs for no apparent reason
so there's still much to be learned about this mysterious condition. The only thing doctors and paediatricians know for certain is that sleep is predominately linked to this cause of death, and research is ongoing because of the continuing rise in fatality statistics. It is heart-breaking to lose a child to some inexplicable cause like this, especially when the baby appears perfectly healthy.
How to prevent an incident of SIDS
SIDS usually occurs when a baby is sleeping, so there are recommendations when dealing with a baby's sleeping routine
. General advice is to make sure that the baby's airwaves are as free as possible, as the slightest difficulty in inhaling and exhaling can cause a premature death.
Babies shouldn't be allowed sleep on their side for instance, as this can restrict the nasal and mouth passages. Putting a baby to sleep on its stomach can be equally dangerous as blankets, duvets and fleeces can become bunched and block air from reaching the babies lungs
. While it can be more convenient to allow a baby to sleep between parents, this is not recommended as the baby can easily suffocate under covers and pillows. However, there's now evidence to suggest that baby car seats and carriers can be just as lethal.
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