Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) refers to the phenomenon in which babies between the ages of one month to one-year pass away during their sleep for an unknown reason. This phenomenon is most common until the age of four months; however, the danger extends until the age of one-year. SIDS can be attributed to the risk of strangulation due to incarceration of the baby’s head in a blanket or soft objects in his environment, contusion, infection or other causes.

To lower the risk of SIDS, during the pregnancy it is important to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs. It is also important to have a proper pregnancy care follow up with your OB-GYN.

 

Here are some tips that have proven their efficiency in reducing the risk for SIDS which you can implement after birth:

1. Nutrition – studied have shown that breast-feeding in the first 6 months of life reduces the risk of SIDS.

2. Creating a safe sleeping environment - includes the following recommendations:

- It is recommended that your child sleeps in the same room with you, but not in the same bed. Place his crib next to your bed so that you can approach him during the night.

- Use a bed with a safety standard and make sure to use a firm mattress and tight sheets.

- The best sleeping position for your child is on his back. Not on his belly or the side. It is important that you emphasize this to all of his caregivers, including day-care, since SIDS can also happen during the day and not only during his night sleep. It doesn't mean that your child can’t spend time on his belly, on the contrary! It is recommended that he spends time lying on his belly so that he can strengthen his muscles, but only when he is awake and under your supervision.

- Make sure that the bedroom isn’t too hot during the night. Dress your child with light clothes and adjust the room temperature to 22-24 degrees. Pay attention to signs showing the child is too hot, such as: sweating, flushed cheeks, rapid breathing, moist hair etc.

- Make sure you maintain a safe environment within the baby’s bed - no pillows, games and soft objects. Avoid putting him to sleep while wearing a hat or any clothes that might cover his face and make it difficult to breath.

- It is best to use a pacifier when going to sleep.

- You must open the windows and air the room in which he sleeps.

 

Implementing all of the recommendations mentioned here will help you protect your child in the best possible manner.

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