What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome is the unexpected and unexplained sudden death of an infant between the age of one month and one year. The actual reason for this unexpected is not yet discovered. The rate of infant death is highest in between the age of 2 months and 4 months. The cause of this death is still now unknown and it is also a wide research area for the medical practitioners. This death is mostly caused during sleep and the infant shows no sign of pain or struggle.
Causes of SIDS
The actual cause of this disease is still not known though it is one of the main reasons for infant death. Some of the factors have been accepted as the cause of SIDS. The most important one is improper development of the infant. The heart function and the brains function become abnormal as the nerve cells of the brain delays in development. This causes difficulty while sleeping. The blood pressure rate and the heart rate also decrease. Another important factor is re-breathing stress. When a baby sleeps with the face placed in a downward position causes the baby to breath in the carbon dioxide that he has breathed out. Air trapping objects like blankets, soft toys, mattresses causes air trap. Excessive coverings or dressing up the baby improperly also causes loss of breathing .The breathing stops instantly leading to a condition named as apnea. SIDS is not a genetic disease. It cannot be predicted beforehand. The risks of SIDS may not be only due to a single reason; it can be a combination of many reasons together that acts as factors of this disease.
Steps to prevent SIDS
The risk of SIDS can be prevented and greatly reduced by following certain steps. A baby should always be put to sleep on his back. When a baby sleeps with his stomach down he is at the highest risk zone, so it is important to make the baby sleep in a proper position. The bedding should have a firm surface. The mattress should be safety approved and the baby’s place should be covered with fitted sheets. Any kind of blankets, pillows, soft toys should be kept away from the baby’s crib. Smoking should be avoided in front of the baby. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of the death of babies due to SIDS. Using drugs during pregnancy also increases the risk of SIDS. Babies should sleep in their crib near to their mother. Breastfeeding also reduces the chance of SIDS to a great extent. During the period of breastfeeding consumption of alcohol should be avoided. Proper immunization should be given to the baby. Immunization reduces the risk of SIDS to a great extent. Infants should wear light comfortable dresses made of cotton while sleeping. The temperature of the room should also be normal. Over heating increases the risk of SIDS. Honey should not be given to infants under the age of one year as the bacteria of the honey causes SIDS.
By taking proper care SIDS can be prevented. A baby should always be happy and safe.