How to avoid SUID -Sudden unexpected infant death?

What is SUID-sudden unexpected infant death?

Sudden unexpected infant death happens when a baby under one year of age dies of no immediately obvious cause. This means the baby was not injured or sick when put to bed.

Sudden unexpected infant death account for about 3400 babie’s deaths every year in the US alone according to the CDC (Center for disease control).

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SIDS which is short for sudden infant death syndrom is more related to the older terminology and accounts for the infants who died before the age of one year in their sleep of unknown cause.

How to prevent SUID of unknown cause?

Although 73% of unexpected infant death are of unknown cause, there are some factors that have been noticed to be associated with an increase rate of infant deaths. You cannot prevent SUID but you can lower the chances of it happening by:

Not smoking during your pregnancy and in the house when the baby is born. Second hand smoking is a factor associated with an increase risk of SUID.

Not using drugs during pregnancy.

-Always putting your baby to sleep on its back. You can do supervised tummy time during the day to avoid a flat head. If your baby is strong enough to roll on its side or tummy, the odds are very low that he would suffer from SUID. It is not recommended in those circumstances to check periodically and turn your baby on its back again.

Not overheating your baby.

Breasfeeding has a protective effect on SUID

-If your baby falls asleep sitting like in the car seat or swing, remove him and put him flat on his back in his crib.

Sleeping in the same room as your baby BUT NOT IN THE SAME BED for the first year is recommended

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What is ASSB-accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed?

“Sleep-related causes of infant death” are those linked to how or where a baby sleeps or slept. These deaths are due to accidental causes, such as suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation. Entrapment is when the baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and a wall, and can’t breathe. Strangulation is when something presses on or wraps around the baby’s neck, blocking the baby’s airway.

Go around your baby’s sleep environment and make sure that there are:

No loose objetcs in his crib,

no cords (like curtain cords) or necklaces that could strangulate your baby in his sleep.

no gab between his crib mattress and wall

no loose toys or objects that could get in your baby’s face and suffocate him.

-it is recommended not to use any blankets, pillows or toys in your baby’s crib.

-You can swaddle your baby but not too tight and never use a weighted swaddler.

It is essential that you also have a good night’s sleep. If you have taken all the necessary precautions to lower your risk of SUID and are still stressed-out, you need to consult your physician. Also, taking well-deserved breaks where a person that you trust will stay awake and check your baby might be a good idea.

Using apnea monitors have been proven to cause more distress in the parents as the alram sounds constantly for wrong reason and have not been associated with a significant reduction of SUID at home.

Always check the latest recommendations from the CDC and the American Pediatric Association


P.s. When I started med school in 1985, we were taught that putting baby on its side was the safest sleeping position. Times and medical evidence change.

P.p.s. When I was searching for a cute images of a baby sleeping, the first 100s images where all doing something NOT recommended to lower the risks of SUID! like cute blankets, hats, feather beds, etc!

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