|SOME FACTS ABOUT SIDS|
THE RICK FOR SIDS
SOME STEPS PARENTS CAN TAKE
Place your baby on the back to sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy, full term infants sleep on their back to reduce the risk for SIDS. This is considered to be primarily important during the first six months of age, when a babys risk of SIDS is greatest. It does not apply to certain infants with breathing problems or infants with excessive spitting up after feeding. Parents should discuss this recommendation with their babys doctor.
Stop smoking around the baby.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has long been associated with women who smoke during pregnancy. A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics demonstrates that women who quit smoking but then resume smoking after delivery put their babies at risk for SIDS, too. Findings from the survey show that babies exposed to smoke only after birth were twice as likely to die from SIDS as those whose mothers did not smoke at all. And, constant smoke exposure both during and after pregnancy tripled a babys risk for SIDS.
Use firm bedding materials
In response to recent research, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a series of advisories for parents on the hazards posed to infants sleeping on beanbag cushions, sheepskins, foam pads, foam sofa cushions, synthetic filled adult pillows and foam pads covered with comforters. Waterbeds should also be avoided. Parents are advised to use a firm, flat mattress in a safety approved crib for their babys sleep.
Avoid overheating, especially when your baby is ill.
SIDS has been associated with the presence of colds and infections, although colds are not more common among babies who die of SIDS than babies in general. Now, research findings indicate that overheating - too much clothing, too heavy bedding, and too warm a room - may greatly increase the risk of SIDS for a baby with a cold or infection. Signs that your baby may be overheated include sweating, damp hair, heat rash, rapid breathing, restlessness, and sometimes fever. To help your baby regulate his or her temperature, some pediatricians recommend maintaining consistent indoor temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit; and dressing your baby in as much or as little as you would wear.
If possible, breast-feed your baby.
Studies by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) show that babies who died of SIDS were less likely to be breast-fed. Potential advantages to breast-feeding your baby include prevention of gastrointestinal and respiratory illness, infections and certain immunologic disorders.
Other important factors.
Statistics tell us that seasonality (i.e. the cold weather months), maternal age (i.e. the younger the mother, the greater the risk), and babys sex (i.e. boys are at higher risk than girls) are among the factors which must be considered. Babys age is another risk factor. SIDS occurs most frequently in infants two to four months old; nearly 90% of the babies who die of SIDS are under six months of age. We also know that there is a higher incidence of SIDS for premature and low-birthweight infants, twins and triplets.
Maintaining good prenatal care and constant communication with your babys doctor about changes in your babys behavior and health are of the utmost importance.
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