SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is every new parent’s worst nightmare. It strikes healthy infants with little to no risk factors. The fact that the babies who die from the syndrome seem healthy put most parents on edge for the first few months.
A new SIDS study released this week revealed that there is more to preventing SIDS than just creating a safe sleeping arrangement for your newborn. According to the report published by Life Science, a safe sleeping environment is only a small factor in preventing SIDS in infants.
The infant death rates had dramatically dropped since 1992 when the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) launched a campaign to place babies on their back to sleep, instead of the tummy. The report found that much to the parent’s dismay, sometimes no matter what the parent does, the baby may still die from SIDS.
The new SIDS study concluded the three risk factors that placed the infant at high risk for SIDS. Some infant may have a predisposition to SIDS. Research indicated that the parents might not know their child has such disposition until it’s too late. The researchers compare the disposition to one similar to the infant’s risk factor for obesity or other health problems. What’s worse is, the SIDS disposition is not something the doctors can test and give you ways to prevent.
Another risk factor is if an infant is in the development growth stage, particularly children under the age of four months, Mayo Clinic reports. The researchers found that most of the infants who died from SIDS were going through a growth spurt, most commonly between the ages of six weeks to three months.
The last risk factor was sleeping arrangement for the newborn. It’s interesting that the experts placed sleeping arrangements the last risk factor when the media promotes this as being the most important way to prevent infant death.
The research found that premature baby boys had a much higher risk of SIDS than full-term girls. Children whose mothers drank or smoked during the pregnancy had an elevated risk of SIDS. The new study revealed that if the mother breastfed her infant, it significantly lowered the risk factor.
Many doctors recommend premature babies to sleep in the room with their mother, but not in the same bed. Newborns will mimic the breathing patterns of their mother, so for those children who suffered respiratory distress, it can help regulate their breathing patterns. Also, mothers typically sleep lightly for the first few months, and if their child stops breathing, most of the time, something will wake the mother up.
The researchers looked at the SIDS rates between 1992-2012 and found that infant mortality rates increased around 1994 when the AAP launched the “‘Back to Sleep” campaign nationally.
“If we are to further impact infant mortality rates and eliminate SIDS, focus on the sleep environment will continue to be important, but will be insufficient. Public health efforts will also need to focus on decreasing intrinsic risk through the promotion of smoking cessation, elimination of in utero drug and alcohol exposure and increasing the rates of breastfeeding and access to high-quality prenatal care.”
According to the new SIDS study, we must look at all risk factors, not just the sleep environment, to reduce the rate of infant loss to SIDS. In general, most children’s risk of SIDS is extremely small, but it never hurts to follow the recommended guidelines to reduce your baby’s risk.
Parents, did you place your baby on their back to sleep? Did you co-sleep with your newborn, and how did you do it safely? Stick with the Inquisitr for more health studies and updates.
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