Research shows that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is not related to any risk factors. A child showing some risk factors may not experience SIDS at all, while a child exhibiting no risk factors may suddenly become a victim of SIDS. Further research is needed to determine the specific set of risk factors associated with SIDS, if there is any.
In 1982, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a list of recommendations that can help parents reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in their children. After the recommendations were released, there has been a significant decrease in the number of reported cases for SIDS. The recommendations does not involve any medication or drug to avoid SIDS; rather it discusses some practices related to how the child is taken care of, such as the child's sleeping position or the sleeping materials or clothing used. The recommendations provided helpful tips on how everyone can reduce the risk of SIDS with simple methods.
To understand SIDS better, we should be aware of some of the factors that may lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:
Bad habits and other Risk factors during Pregnancy - What happens during pregnancy greatly affect the child afterwards. For example, a pregnant mother who smokes may have a child that has a very weak respiratory system which may lead to more susceptibility to SIDS.
In addition, regular visits to the doctor during pregnancy will ensure that the mother and the child's health are well-monitored all throughout and that all the risk factors are reduced. It also ensures that both the mother and the child will be much prepared for the time of giving birth.
Incorrect Sleeping Position - During the early stages, a child is unable to gain full control of its movements. Thus, the parents should ensure that when the child sleeps, its position should be safe. Letting an infant sleep on its side poses great danger because that position is unstable. When the infant moves, it may end up on the prostate position and may not be able to move back to a position where it can breathe. Thus the infant should sleep on the supine position; this allows the child to breathe freely and there is no danger for the infant to end up having any difficulty in breathing.
Inappropriate Sleeping Materials - In as much as we would like to keep a child warm and comfortable, we should refrain from using very soft pillows and mattresses as this may cause suffocation for the infant. We should also refrain from putting blankets which may end up covering the child's face and cause SIDS to occur. Thus, we should let an infant sleep on a firm mattress and put as less pillows or blankets as possible.
Over Clothing - Extra clothing may also pose a danger to the infant. If it is misplaced, it might also end up on the child's face preventing the child to breathe freely. Thus, we need to make sure that we only maintain required clothing. We could keep the temperature warm so there is no need for us to put extra clothes to the infant.
SIDS can be prevented if we know what could cause it and the means to reduce the risk of it happening to our child. Infants need lots of care and attention and SIDS and any other complications will be avoided if we devote enough time and effort for our little ones.