What is SIDS?
SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is the unexplained death that occurs usually during sleep, of an infant less than a year old. SIDS or also called a crib death (because the infants often die in their cribs) is the leading cause of death in children between one month and one year of age.
Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS may be associated with abnormalities in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.
Some factors contribute to an increased risk of SIDS:
-Soft bedding or unsafe beds
-Loose bedding materials (blankets or pillows)
-Mother’s younger than 20
-Mother’s smoking during pregnancy
-Secondhand smoking exposure
Young mother Laura Williams at the beginning of the year lost her son to SIDS. She wanted to share her story and to warn all parents about safe baby sleep.
Tyson was born on December 1. Laura breastfeed him for a month and then switched to bottle feeding. Because of gasses Tyson cried a lot for several weeks especially during night.
January 15, was like any other day in their family. Laura’s husband get up for school in the morning and get their older son up. Laura left Tyson sleeping.
Tyson always slept on his stomach. Laura was checking him to see if he was breathing okay and he was. She thought that that was his way of sleeping.
After she gave her older son breakfast and did the dishes, she went in Tyson’s room. He was sleeping on the stomach as usual, with his face in the pillow. Laura said he was white and when she put her hand on him she felt coldness and no movement. She ran in her father’s room and he did CPR while she called 911. When they got there he was already gone.
Laura said she can’t forgive herself for letting her little boy sleep like that and wants to warn all parents about the danger of stomach sleeping.
Compared with infants who sleep on their backs, infants who sleep on their stomachs: are less reactive to noise, experience lees movement and longer periods of deep sleep, and experience a sudden decrease in blood pressure and heart rate control.
These characteristics might put an infant at higher risk of SIDS. The simple act of placing infants on their backs to sleep significantly lowers SIDS risk.
As stomach sleeping has declined in response to back-sleeping campaigns worldwide, statistics show that the contribution of side sleeping to SIDS risk has increased. Research shows that side sleeping is just as risky as stomach sleep position and, therefore, should not be used.
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