The arrival of a baby in the world is always a source of joy in a family. Caring for him and worrying about his health will be problems that will invade his parents’ heads during the first months and years of life.
However, there is one terrible condition that can cause sudden child death: sudden infant death syndrome. In this article, we will talk about it, what can be the cause and provide tips on how to avoid it.
What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Death of cradle or white death; it is a strange event in which a child less than a year old and apparently dies suddenly and without apparent explanation.
Usually when this happens parents usually find the baby dead hours after the guitar and no apparent sign of pain. As death is sudden and without a known cause, there is no previous symptomatology that can alert parents to the risk of this syndrome.
Finally, a prerequisite for these cases to be considered Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is that after a full autopsy and investigation, the causes of the child’s death remain unexplained.
The steps to follow in order to make a correct assessment of the case are: perform a full autopsy, an exploration and recognition of the place of death and its circumstances and a thorough examination of the medical history of the newborn and his family.
As to the incidence of this strange condition in most cases, especially about 90%, usually occur between 2 and 6 months of age; dramatically increased the number of deaths during the winter months.
Although Sudden Infant Death Syndrome causes far fewer deaths than those caused by congenital disorders and disorders associated with premature birth, it is considered to be the leading cause of death in babies of one. months or more without any ailments.
Statistics show that in the European Union this syndrome occurs with a probability of between 1.5 and 2 deaths per 1000. Also, if we focus only on Spain, this one it is responsible for 0.15 to 0.23 deaths per 1000 live births.
Causes and risk factors
As mentioned above, the exact causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are not yet known with precision. However, a few avenues of research have recently been opened which link this syndrome to several causes.
The two theories that receive the most support from the medical community are those that they link the child’s death to problems with sleep stimulationIn other words, the baby may experience some kind of handicap in the ability to wake up.
The second hypothesis theorizes that the baby’s body it would not have the ability to warn of the existence of an accumulation of carbon dioxide levels in the bloodThe failure of this reflex would be what would lead the baby to death.
However, the number of infant deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has dropped significantly in recent years. Specifically, since health workers have emphasized recommendations to put the baby to bed upside down and never upside down. Thus, the posture for sleeping and facilitating breathing could also be linked.
The risk factors associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are as follows.
- Newborn exposure to tobacco smoke. Many babies who die from this syndrome have higher levels of nicotine and cotinine in their lungs than babies who die from other causes.
- Turn the baby upside down.
- Ambient temperature too high.
- Excessive use of bedding, pillows or stuffed animals.
- Approaching the baby in a too soft mattress.
- Babies born to teenage mothers.
- Consecutive pregnancies.
- Poor nutrition of the mother during pregnancy.
- Overweight in the mother.
- Inadequate antenatal care.
- Babies born prematurely.
- Baby gender. SMSL appears more in boys than in girls.
- Born with a weight of less than 1.5 kg.
- Family story.
- Drug use.
- Multiple rooms.
If it is clearly established that all of the above risk factors pose a threat to the life of a child, the level of influence of each in the appearance of the syndrome is not yet fully determined.
Tips for its prevention
Given the complexity of this syndrome and the ignorance that still exists about it, it is essential that parents of newborns consider a series of care guidelines in order to prevent, in any way possible, the onset of this disease.
In order to support parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed a number of recommendations:
1. Always raise the baby
At bedtime and naps during the day the baby should sleep on the bed face up.
2. Approach the baby on a firm surface.
The baby should be placed on the bed on a firm and stable surface, such as a cradle or a bed prepared for babies and, for example, never on a sofa.
3. Bring babies to the same room as parents
This will facilitate the care, care and feeding of the child.
4. Avoid soft mattresses
The baby must rest a stable, firm and tight crib mattress with no loose pieces or fabric. The use of pillows, sheets or duvets should also be avoided.
5. Check the ambient temperature
Check that the ambient temperature is not excessively high. The ideal temperature is one in which an adult is comfortable with light clothing. It is also necessary to check that the baby is not hot to the touch.
6. Use pacifiers or bottles before bed.
It is believed that the use of pacifiers or bottles promotes the opening of the airways and prevents the baby from falling asleep soundly.
7. Do not smoke near the baby
it’s essential keep the baby safe from the effects of tobacco smoke, It is therefore absolutely contraindicated to smoke near the baby or in one of the rooms where he stays.
8. Avoid alcohol and drugs
Although this point may seem obvious, it should be remembered that any type of substance use during or after pregnancy can present a significant risk to the health of the child.
Breastfeeding habits have been shown to decrease infections that affect the respiratory tract, Which can influence the appearance of this syndrome.