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Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
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Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

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CHILDREN'S HEALTH

Infants

Prevention

These steps may help lessen the SIDS risk for your baby:

  • Place your baby on his or her back to sleep. For the first 6 months, place your baby to sleep resting on his or her back, rather than on the stomach. This isn't necessary when your baby's awake or older than 6 months and able to roll over both ways without your help. By the time your baby has learned to roll over, the risk of SIDS has decreased.

  • Be sure your baby is placed to sleep on the back when staying with relatives or at child care. If your baby is used to sleeping on his or her back, it's especially important to avoid switching to the stomach position. Don't assume that others will place your baby to sleep in the correct position. Be sure to let them know what you want for your infant.

  • Don't smoke. A smoke-free environment is especially important during pregnancy and in your baby's first year of life. Infants whose mothers smoke during and after pregnancy are three times more likely to die of SIDS than are infants of nonsmoking mothers.

  • Select bedding carefully. Use a firm mattress, rather than a water bed or beanbag. Avoid placing your baby on thick, fluffy padding, such as lambskin or a thick quilt. These may interfere with breathing if your baby's face presses against them. For the same reason, don't leave fluffy toys or stuffed animals in your infant's crib. Instead, tuck in a lightweight blanket securely at the foot of the crib, with just enough length to cover your baby's shoulders. Then place your baby in the crib, near the foot, covered loosely with the blanket. If you dress your baby in a kimono or sleep sack, you may not need to use a blanket unless the room is cool or you place the crib near a window in cold weather.

  • Place your baby to sleep in a crib rather than in your bed. Many adult beds aren't safe for young infants. A baby can become trapped and suffocate between the headboard slats, the space between the mattress and the bed frame, or the space between the mattress and the wall. Foldout sofa beds seem to be especially dangerous for infants.

  • Moderate room temperature. Keep the temperature in your baby's room at a level that's comfortable for you, not warmer than normal. If your baby is sweating around the neck or face, it probably means your infant is too warm or has a fever or illness. When this happens, use fewer covers, not more.

  • Breast-feed your baby. Breast-feeding may reduce the risk of SIDS. Although it's not entirely clear why breast-feeding seems to protect babies against SIDS, some researchers speculate that breast milk may reduce infections in young infants.

Some parents feel more secure when their newborn's heart rate and breathing are monitored electronically. Unfortunately, monitoring is unlikely to prevent SIDS deaths. If you decide to try monitoring, you'll need special training in its use.

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:21 AM