Child Health

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:

It is the sudden, unexplained death of a child less than a year old, with no known cause even after a full investigation. This investigation includes a full autopsy, examination of the death reason, and review of the clinical history.


Reasons for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:

The most likely theory is that infants who die from SIDS have an underlying impairment (eg: a specific genotype or hidden brain abnormality) and are exposed to a trigger from environmental factors (eg: an unsafe sleeping position, an unsafe sleep environment, or the mother's smoking during or after pregnancy or after birth, exposure to secondhand smoke, or an infection early in the development of the brain or immune system).


Risk factors:

Although SIDS can affect any infant, researchers have identified several factors that may increase the risk, including:

  • Age: infants are most vulnerable between the second and fourth months of life.
  • Smoking: infants who live with smokers have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • An infection: many of the infants who died had recently had an infection, which may contribute to breathing problems.

Sleep Environmental Factors:

Items in his bed and sleeping area can combine with his physical issues to increase the risk of infection, which include:

  • Sleeping on the stomach or side: Infants who are placed in these sleeping positions may have more difficulty breathing than those who are placed on their backs.
  • Sleeping on a soft surface: soft mattresses with soft covers or a waterbed, the child can easily slip under the covers, which prevents air breathing and leads to death.
  • Bed-sharing: The risk increases if the child sleeps in the same bed with parents, siblings, or pets.
  • Overheating of the child while sleeping.

Maternal Risk Factors:

During pregnancy, the mother also affects her baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome, especially if she smokes cigarettes and uses drugs or alcohol.



During Pregnancy:

Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care and not smoke during pregnancy.

After birth:

  • The child is placed to sleep on his back.
  • It is preferable for the infant to sleep with his mother in her room, but in a separate bed until his sixth month.
  • making sure the baby is warm; Because the best temperature for a child is the one that makes him feel comfortable.
  • Ensure that the infant is away from cigarette smoke.
  • Ensure that the infant sleeps on a tight mattress covered with a fitted sheet and avoid placing soft pillowsIt is possible for the infant to be placed on his stomach when he is awake, provided that one of the parents is present to monitor as it helps to develop the neck muscles and to avoid flattening of the head from excessive sleeping on the back.Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden death, perhaps because breastfeeding protects the infant from infections, so it is recommended to continue breastfeeding until the age of six months or more.
Last Update : 16 May 2023 09:40 AM
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