Baby Safety When Sleeping
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the leading cause of death in children under the age of one. This syndrome is so terrifying because it happens while sleeping and for no apparent reason. To date there is no known cure, or verifiable reason, as to why some children are affected while others aren’t.
But the fact is that over 2,500 babies die in the US each year from SIDS. The number of deaths have been lowered by around 40% by taking several preventative approaches. Incorporating these sleep safety methods can help to safe guard children from SIDS, although there is no known way at this point to fully avoid SIDS.
Baby Sleep Tips to Increase Safety
Here are some tips to increase baby safety when sleeping and reduce the risk of SIDS:
- Lay your baby nugget in her crib on his or her back. Children sleeping on their tummies appear to be at the most risk of dying from SIDS.
- Use a firm crib mattress. Most importantly, avoid having fluffy toys or pillows in the crib that may cause suffocation.
- Don’t wrap your baby nugget in so many blankets that she becomes overheated during the night. Infants have a higher body temperature than adults and don’t require as many blankets. By all means, don’t do the opposite and let your baby freeze though.
- Before, during, and after birth, don’t drink, do drugs, or smoke. Cigarette smoke is a known contributor to SIDS so do yourself and your child a favor and quit.
- Make sure to attend all of your parental care clinics, especially if you are a first-time parent.
- If breast feeding is a possibility, do it. Statistically, babies that are breast fed are, according to studies, statistically less likely to die from SIDS.
- Only use a pacifier to sooth your infant during the first year of their life. It is not known why but babies that are given pacifiers in the early stages of life are less likely to die from SIDS.
- Resist the urge to sleep with your new baby in the same bed or let your little nugget sleep in your adult bed with you. The baby has a much greater risk of suffocation when in an adult bed. Sometimes it is more comfortable to lay in your bed while you feed your infant or to comfort them but please remember to put them back in their crib before you fall asleep.
SIDS is unlike any other syndrome or disease. Most conditions surrounding an infant’s death are diagnosed by the symptoms associated with the death. SIDS on the other hand is only given as a diagnosis once all other possibilities are ruled out.
Risk Factors for SIDS
- There are several specific risk factors that can be seen in data relating to SIDS. These risks should be noted by parents that have infants in that may be in a high-risk category.
- The majority of deaths from SIDS are boys as opposed to girls. Obviously, there’s not anything that can be done about this factor.
- The main contributing factors for SIDS is smoking, drinking, and drugs. If you value the life of your child, refrain from smoking, drinking, or using drugs.
- Young or inexperienced parents are at the highest risk for SIDS. As long as a parent takes the time to get early and regular parental care checks and have the support of family and friends, there is much less risk of this occurring.
- At the highest risk for SIDS, are premature babies. Premature babies are at a disadvantage to begin with and are usually very weak and their bodies and organs are under developed.
- New mothers who are younger than 20 years old are at risk of having a baby die from SIDS. This can be for a variety of reasons such as inexperience or unintentional neglect.
By following the above tips and being aware of the risk factors and taking baby sleep safety precautions you can reduce the likelihood of your child dying from SIDS.
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