SIDS Prevention
#1: AVOID CROWDING THE CRIB
  • No blankets
  • No pillows 
  • No stuffed animals
  • Be cautious or avoid bumpers
  • Use a firm mattress


#2: "BACK TO SLEEP"
  • Back sleeping is the safest sleeping position for the majority of infants


#3: AVOID SECOND HAND SMOKE
  • Quit smoking, especially mom 
  • Do not smoke inside the home or car
  • SIDS risk increases by 2-4x, depending on the amount of smoke exposure 


#4: PREVENT OVERHEATING
  • Ideal room temperature is between 63*-70*
  • High temperatures may drop babies breathing rates
  • Do not over bundle to sleep, especially if swaddling
  • Fans may be helpful  in cooling warmer room  

#5: SUPERVISED WAKING TUMMY TIME
  • Strengthens respiratory muscles such as diaphragm and neck muscles
  • Helps prevent head flattening/ cranial molding/ plagiocephaly
  • Prevents delays associated with too much time on their back


#6: AVOID BED SHARING
  • Choose to bed closely in a co-sleeper or a bassinet in the same room


#7: CONSIDER PACIFIER FOR SLEEPING
  • Orthodontic pacifier first 6-12 months 
  • Helps baby coordinate and regulate breathing
  • If breastfeeding you may want to wait 2-4 weeks before introducing a pacifier, once birth weight is regained and breastfeeding is established
  • Be cautious: prolonged use of a pacifier, especially beyond sleeping, may increase risk of ear infections,poor dental alignment & speech delays


#8: CONSIDER BREASTFEEDING
  • Reduces respiratory and gastrointestinal problems associated with increased SIDS risk

#9: ADDRESS REFLUX (GERD)
  • Severe reflux may require medication (ask your doctor)
  • Reflux may irritate baby's airway, affecting breathing  
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS):

Instead of stuffed animals for comfort, try music, white noise or a mobile to sooth and entertain before bed.  

Who Is At Risk For SIDS:


SIDS may affects infants between 1-12 months old (peak risk is between 2-6 months)

  • Premature & low birth weight infants are at higher risk
  • Infants of mother's who smoked during their pregnancy are also at higher risk
REFERENCES:

Adams SM, Good MW, Defranco GM. (2009). Sudden infant death syndrome. Am Fam Physician., 15:79(10), 870-4.

Blood-Siegfried J. (2009). The role of infection and inflammation in sudden infant death syndrome. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. Apr 2. 

Buchanan GF, Richerson GB. (2010). Central serotonin neurons are required for arousal to CO2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 14;107(37). 16354-9. 

Fu LY, Moon RY, Hauck FR. (2010). Bed sharing among black infants and sudden infant death syndrome: interactions with other known risk factors. Acad Pediatr. Nov-Dec;10(6). 376-82.

Jenik AG, Vain N. (2009). The pacifier debate. Early Hum Dev. Oct;85(10 Suppl). S89-91.

Jenik AG, Vain NE, Gorestein AN, Jacobi NE; Pacifier and Breastfeeding Trial Group. (2009). Does the recommendation to use a pacifier influence the prevalence of breastfeeding? J Pediatr. Sep;155(3). 350-4.e1. 

Jennings JT, Sarbaugh BG, Payne NS. (2005) Conveying the message about optimal infant positions. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr., 25(3), 3-18.

Lozano de la Torre MJ, Pallás Alonso CR, Hernández Aguilar MT, Aguayo Maldonado J, Arena Ansótegui J, Ares Segura S, Gómez Papí A, Díaz Gómez M, Jiménez Moya A, Landa Rivera L, Lasarte Velillas JJ, Martín-Calama Valero J, Martín Morales M, Paricio Talayero JM, Romero Escós MD. (2011). Use of pacifiers and breastfeeding. An Pediatr (Barc). Jan 19.

Majnemer A, Barr RG. (2005). Influence of supine sleep positioning on early motor milestone acquisition. Dev Med Child Neurol., 47(6), 370-6.

Pinho AP, Nunes ML. (2011). Epidemiological profile and strategies for diagnosing SIDS in a developing country: a case-control study. J Pediatr (Rio J). Feb 3. 87(2).     

Praud JP. (2010). Upper airway reflexes in response to gastric reflux. Paediatr Respir Rev. Dec;11(4). 208-12. 

Sexton S, Natale R. (2009). Risks and benefits of pacifiers. Am Fam Physician. Apr 15;79(8). 681-5.

Siren PM, Siren MJ. (2011). Critical diaphragm failure in sudden infant death syndrome. Ups J Med Sci. Jan 12. 

Yikilkan H, Unalan PC, Cakir E, Ersu RH, Cifcili S, Akman M, Uzuner A, Dagli E. (2011). Sudden infant death syndrome: How much mothers and health professionals know. Pediatr Int.  Feb. 53(1). 24-8.


The cause of SIDS remains unknown. However, research supports that there are some factors that may increase or decrease a baby's SIDS risk.  There may be an association between SIDS & breathing difficulty in infants. 
9 WAYS TO HELP DECREASE THE RISK OF SIDS
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Page last updated: 2016
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