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Tips to avoid the risk of crib death or SIDS

Updated on March 24, 2011

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death or SIDS

There are no scientific causes and explanation to crib death and research is still going on regarding it; that being said, it is better to have safety precautions when the baby is sleeping and this is better than not doing anything at all.

I was reading an article the other day and came about a story of the death of an infant that made the parents sad beyond consolation. Their baby died two months ago without really knowing what the cause of the death is. It was later ruled out that it was crib death. That made me do research and read about crib death and its causes. I want to contribute to the topic and I learned some interesting findings about it.

As parents, we want to protect our child and do the most we can so as to avoid unhealthy practices for our children, much more to avoid risk of any death like crib death.

What is crib death or SIDS?

It is also called sudden infant disease syndrome (SIDS) or cot death ---it is a syndrome or the sudden death of an infant (less than 12 months) that is unexpected and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. It is termed cot death in United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, South Africa and New Zealand. Usually, the infant is found dead and no explanation for the death after autopsy whatsoever or investigation of the area where the baby is sleeping or examination of the baby medical history (baby and family).

picture courtesy of
picture courtesy of

The Crib Death or SIDS and Tips on How To Avoid It

Australia and New Zealand changed the name to the term Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) for professional, scientific and coronial clarity. The term SUDI is now often used instead of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because some coroners prefer to use the term ‘undetermined’ for a death previously considered to be SIDS. This change is causing diagnostic shift in the mortality data. According to Dr. John Kattwinkel, chairman of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Special Task Force on SIDS "A lot of us are concerned that the rate (of SIDS) isn't decreasing significantly, but that a lot of it is just code shifting

Researches are trying to ascertain whether there is predisposition for crib death. Little is known about the actual causes of crib death, although it has been recommended that you should put the baby at its back while sleeping, little has been determined if what really are the cause of crib death. It might be a function of sex, ethnicity, education and socio-economic condition of the parents. Vaccination has nothing to do with it.

Some probable causes researches are positing are deficiency in nutrients of the mother, or some kind of physical trauma when the baby is born or some abnormal structure of the brain etc. or most importantly the conditions when the baby is sleeping (whether the baby sleep in the stomach or back.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death:

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 1 ---- When the infant is sleeping or taking a nap, check on the bedroom temperature. Dress the baby appropriately not too warm or too cold.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 2 -- Don’t smoke or exposed your infant to smokers before or after the baby is born.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 3 -- Keep the baby’s head and face uncovered during the duration of their sleep. Don’t use any blanket to cover the baby as this might cause suffocation. If you are going to use any sheet, be sure the baby’s feet is at the crib bottom.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 4 -- Remove or other clothes or sheet within the crib

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 5 -- Place the baby in a firm mattress and not on soft uneven one

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 6 -- Always place the baby in his back when he is sleeping or taking a nap

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 7 -- Baby should be allowed supervised stomach time too, and avoid flat surface on the back of his head.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 8 -- Avoid smoking and be healthy when you are pregnant

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 9 -- Always take prenatal when immediately when you suspect that you are pregnant already. Eat nutritious food and avoid smoking. This is important because according to some researches, nutritional deficiency in the mother might be a cause of crib death. Pre natal is also good so that you can take care of yourself and the baby in your womb.

Tips to avoid the risk of crib death 10 -- Avoid sleeping with an infant in the same bed, and avoid leaving the infant alone, check on them always if they are sleeping.

If you know somebody who are the caregivers of an infant share these findings to them.


American Academy of Pediatrics

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Wikipedia Sudden Infant Disease Syndrome


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