Reducing The Likelihood Of SIDS

Author: Dennis Mock

Reducing the likelihood of SIDS

Of the various health conditions that can affect infants, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most mysterious and unpredictable. This medical phenomenon, in which infants appear to have died with no clear or apparent cause, can be characterized as one of the most disturbing health hazards parents of very young children have to worry about.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidelines that outline some best practices in which infants' chances of death from SIDS can be notably reduced, according to USA Today. Before explaining these methods, it will be helpful for you to go over the basics of SIDS if you are unfamiliar with it or need to refresh your memory.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines SIDS as deaths affecting children who are less than a year old, with no obvious cause of death. CDC statistics claim that SIDS is to blame for half of the 4,500 U.S. infant deaths each year that appear inexplicable at first - the remainder include poisoning, suffocation, metabolic conditions, hypothermia, neglect and murder.

Since there is no known cause of SIDS, you might be wondering how such a tragic phenomenon could be prevented. However, USA Today reports that three new practices are highly recommended by the AAP to reduce the likelihood of this condition, supplementing the organization's 1992 statement that babies should always sleep on their backs.

First, breast-feeding and vaccination have been linked to reduced risks of SIDS, the latter practice associated with a 50 percent reduction in the condition's likelihood of occurring. Finally, bumper pads, sometimes included in babies' cribs as a safety measure, are characterized by the AAP as capable of causing suffocation or strangulation.

Parents have good reason to fear SIDS. With that in mind, implementing the aforementioned habits may be to the benefit of families with infant children.

In Brief

  • Of the various health conditions that can affect infants, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most mysterious and unpredictable.
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