Sudden infant death syndrome is an unexplained death of a child between one month and one year of age. The reasons are unknown and there are no symptoms. It has a high impact on the family. Losing a child can be terrible for any parent and healing takes time.
Who are at a risk of developing SIDS?
Babies who are placed on their tummy to sleep.
A smoking environment.
Multiple baby birth (twins, triplets, …)
Having a family history of SIDS.
Babies who sleep in their parent’s bed.
Usage of drugs, alcohol and smoking during pregnancy.
Lack of baby care.
Bad social environment as poverty.
How to prevent SIDS?
Always put your child to sleep on his back. Even side positions are not very secure. The baby may roll onto his tummy.
Put your baby to sleep in his crib only. Do not put him in your bed.
Avoid using soft bedding. The mattress should be firm and no cushion is necessary. Always tie the bed sheets under the mattress so they won’t come out and cover your baby’s face.
Make sure that the room temperature is not too hot.
Keep your house environment smoke free.
Breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding helps to reduce the respiratory infections which might lead to SIDS.
It is recommended sometimes to use the pacifier while sleeping. Researches think that the pacifier would help to open the airways and prevent babies from falling into deep sleep.
SIDS causes are still unknown and unpredictable. It is not caused by immunizations, viruses or any other infections. Death happens suddenly and calmly. It is very important to know that it is nobody’s fault. It is devastating to lose a child, give time to yourself to grieve and keep the line of communication opened.