Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can occur while a baby sleeps. Guilford County is made up of Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro in North Carolina, USA. County statistics showed that approximately 100 babies died of SIDS last year. In the whole United States, at least 2000 babies die of SIDS each year.
Currently in the United States, several states including North Carolina still categorize SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as a death by unknown cause.
Nevertheless, Pediatrician indications on how to prevent SIDS have a correlation with how to prevent suffocation. It would seem that SIDS is caused by an obstruction of oxygen to the baby and the recommended tips on how to prevent SIDS are tips on how to prevent that obstruction of oxygen.
Experts on SIDS do still seem to find it baffling and have turned to many possibilities for its cause including a genetic predisposition, however when informing the public on preventive measures it still always seems to come down to making sure your baby gets enough air and that it is not blocked by blankets, toys, crib bumpers or the baby lying on his or her stomach and then possibly burying his face into the mattress while sleeping, blocking his air.
The expert knowledge that is typically shared with the public often includes the following. Expect to hear some of this information when you take your newborn baby home from the hospital or to his first few Pediatrician appointments.:
1. Allow your baby to sleep on his back at all times.
2. Do not co-sleep in the same bed with your baby. If you choose to co-sleep, make sure that the co-sleeper is a separate unit next to your adult bed.
3. If you do not use a co-sleeper or have the baby's crib set up in your own room, make sure you are using a monitor to hear the sounds in the nursery so that you will know if your baby is in any distress.
4. Make sure that your baby is not overheated. Do not allow the baby to be more warm than necessary.
5. It would be good to not use blankets at all. You can instead dress the baby in a properly fitting one piece outfit such as a onesie pajama with the feet to keep him warm.
6. If you do choose to use a blanket, tuck it under the baby's arms so that the baby can not pull the blanket over the face.
If you use swaddle blankets, be sure they are properly fitting and follow the instructions for them carefully.
7. Crib bumpers serve their own purpose for baby safety and crib aesthetics but for preventing SIDS, it is typically recommended that they be removed from the crib.
8. Make sure as the baby lies on his back, the mattress is firm and the fitted crib sheet has a snug fit.
9. Make sure the crib is otherwise empty, removing all stuffed toys and blankets or quilts that might be hanging over the side of the crib as decoration.
10. Never smoke or allow anyone else to smoke near your baby. Maintain good air quality in your home by avoiding aerosols and other air pollutants as well. You will find that even baby powder/talc is no longer recommended for sprinkling on your baby because of how it can get into the air.
11. If you are a smoker, prepare for your pregnancy and upcoming baby by quitting smoking before you get pregnant. Smoking while pregnant can have tragic effects on the fetus. At the very least, it can contribute to a baby's predisposition for SIDS.