Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as sudden infant death who is younger than one year old which can’t be explained despite complete autopsy, review of the clinical history, examination of the death scene, and thorough case investigations done. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is previously known as cot death. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the main cause of death among children from the age of one month to one year in America. Paediatric Surgeon by DoctoronCall is available to help parents understand more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other health issues related to their kids.
Since the 1990s, advancement in pathology and epidemiology fields provides a new and stronger fundamental understanding of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The risk factors of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are:
- Young maternal age
- A mother who smokes during pregnancy
- Late or no prenatal care for pregnant ladies
- Preterm baby
- Low birth weight baby
- A baby who sleeps in a prone position
- A baby who sleeps on a soft surface
- A baby who sleeps with bedding accessories such as blankets
- A baby who sleeps with parents
- Baby in the overheated environment
More than 95% of cases are related to one or more risk factors. Most of the risk factors are modifiable, which means that you can intervene and make a change in those factors. A triple risk model of SIDS suggests that infants with underlying vulnerability who experience a trigger event and at a vulnerable developmental stage of the central nervous system and immune system are prone to be the victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Underlying vulnerability is a factor in which the brainstem is not yet mature or errors in the genetic material. This results in abnormalities in cardiac, breathing, and sleep regulation. However, the role of genetic in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not yet well understood. Examples of trigger events are:
- Babies who sleep in a prone position
- Heart dysfunction
The role of prevention is superior to any other modalities you can think of. Successful prevention will save the life of your child while ineffective or zero prevention will result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The sad thing is that unsafe practices in childcare are still common in some populations although many educational campaigns have been conducted globally. Prenatal intervention that can be done is mothers should not use or take any alcohol, tobacco, or drugs during and after pregnancy. Other than that, pregnant ladies should come and get prenatal care accordingly as advised by local health departments and authorities.
Next, all infants should be placed in a supine position before sleeping. Side sleeping is strictly not recommended. Sitting devices which include car seats, infant carriers, strollers and swing should not be used for sleeping, at least not as a routine. Sleep positioners should not be used at all. Discontinue swaddling once your child is old enough to attempt a rollover. It is crucial to prevent non-supine sleep for swaddled infants. Infants should always be on a firm surface even for nights of sleep. The air bed is not firm and should not be used for infants. Avoid the use of sofas, polystyrene cushions, and sheepskin bedding for your child to sleep on.
Last but not least, avoid your child from overheats and do not share beds with your infants. Parents can only share rooms but not bed. Paediatric Surgeon by DoctoronCall is available to help parents understand more about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other health issues related to their kids.