Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant under 1 year of age. The term SIDS was introduced in 1969 as a diagnosis to explain deaths that could not be explained. After a thorough investigation including an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. The diagnosis continues to be very controversial.

Before a baby is born, there are many things that can increase the risk of SIDS. They include, Smoking, Drinking alcohol, caffeine, etc. As well as all these factors there are also other factors that can increase the risk of SIDS. These include being placed on their stomach or side to sleep, not being put to sleep in a safe sleeping position, sharing a bed with parents who smoke, etc.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. With most cases occurring during the first six months. However, SIDS has been known to happen after the first birthday although it is rare after nine months. There are more than 2,000 infant deaths attributed to SIDS annually; it occurs more often in the fall and winter months.

Although the most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to put a baby on their back when they sleep. You can take other steps to help your baby sleep better. Place them on a firm mattress, but no soft bedding near the baby, make sure they are not too hot, use a pacifier. And don’t smoke around them. Breastfeeding and immunization may also help. However, according to a survey SIDS rates have decreased 80% in many areas by step of safe sleep.