Sudden infant death still exists, but it has become less frequent than in the past thanks to prevention campaigns. Ohmymag takes stock of current knowledge, and gives you all the useful tips to prevent it.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
1. What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is when a baby under 2 years of age, apparently healthy, suddenly dies while asleep. After the infant's death, the medical team looks for a logical cause of death (examples: congenital heart disease, infection) through a study of their medical file, an examination of their environment and various medical examinations including an autopsy (with parents' agreement).
The 'diagnosis' of SIDS is only made when the cause of death remains unexplained. It is also referred to as 'cot death'.
2. Prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: While sudden infant death remains, by definition, an unknown cause, research has been able to uncover various risk factors that can be easily avoided. There is especially an increased risk of SIDS if baby is lying on their stomach, if they share the bed of an adult (co-sleeping) or if their room is too hot.
To prevent as much as possible the risks of SIDS, doctors recommend that you always put your baby on their back (when they can turn around on their own, usually around 6 months, you can let them take the position they want while sleeping), preferably in a cradle near your bed.
The cradle must not contain any soft objects: put on a firm mattress, without quilt, pillow, blanket. Their room must not be too hot - a temperature of 18 to 19° C is recommended. It may seem cool, especially since baby can not sleep with a blanket until about 2 years old, but they will be fine with a baby sleeping bag.
Finally, do not smoke near baby or in their room, and avoid co-sleeping, whether in a bed or on the sofa or an armchair.
3. Statistics: In the UK, cases of SIDS have become much rarer thanks to prevention campaigns. SIDS mainly affects babies under 6 months (90% of cases), especially those aged 1 to 4 months. It is more common in winter. It affects boys a little more than girls and premature babies are more often affected. After 18 months, SIDS is very rare.