The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a sudden death of healthy children aged up to 1 year old as a result of cessation of breathing and heart failure, the cause of which cannot be established at mortem examination. However, there are causes or risk factors for the development of this poorly studied phenomenon, and the parents, eliminating them from their life can save the life and health of their child.
Cases of sudden death among infants have been known for a long time, but there are still no explanations for them, despite the fact that scientists around the world are working on this problem. By unknown causes the death in a cradle is not typical for children of Asian families. The risk of the sudden death of a child in families of whites is two times higher than in black and Indian families.
In most cases, the SIDS occurs in the child’s sleep without evidence any symptoms. SIDS is recorded among 5-6 children out of thousands of their peers.
A study of infant deaths identified some patterns of this mysterious phenomenon: in 90% of cases SIDS occurs before 6 months of age (usually from 2 to 4 months); the chance of death does not depend on the time of year; 60% of the victims are boys; SIDS cannot be predicted and alerted; SIDS is not linked to preventive vaccinations.
During the study of SIDS cases a number of factors that contribute to its occurrence was identified: position on the stomach during the sleep; the use of soft bedding; overheating of the baby (the use of quilts or excessive heating in the room); premature newborn; underweight at birth; multiple pregnancy; mother’s large number of pregnancies; anemia, and fetal hypoxia; recent illnesses of a child; maternal age is younger than 17 years old; smoking, use of drugs or alcohol; poor economic and social conditions in the family; mother’s depression during the postpartum period.
The smoking parents can increase the risk of SIDS. Studies have proven that if pregnant women did not smoke, the number of SIDS would have decreased by 40%. Both active and passive smoking is dangerous during pregnancy and after birth. Even smoking in the other room is dangerous.
Modern methods of preventing tragedies offer special devices for monitoring the breathing and heartbeat of the baby from the birth up to a year. Monitors are equipped with alarm systems that turn on during the respiratory standstill or cardiac arrhythmias. These devices cannot prevent or protect a child from the SIDS, but they will alert, and parents will be able to provide timely assistance to the child. Such monitors are especially important for children with the increased risk for SIDS, or if the baby has troubles with breathing.
The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a sudden death of healthy children aged up to 1 year old as a result of cessation of breathing and heart failure, the cause of which cannot be established at mortem examination.