Preventing SIDS

Preventing SIDS
When taking care of an infant, precautions are necessary to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). An infant does not have a mature breathing system in the first four months of life.

It is very important to put an infant to sleep on their back and check on them periodically to make sure they are okay. Putting an infant to sleep on it’s back ensures that he or she will get plenty of fresh oxygen to breathe, and also it helps to prevent a rise in body temperature. A lack of oxygen and rise in body temperature can cause SIDS.

Avoid putting an infant to sleep on their side or stomach, even for a short nap, as this doubles the risk of SIDS. The reason for this is that when an infant is young, it’s breathing system is not developed enough to wake them up if they do not get enough oxygen. If they are sleeping on their side, it is easy to roll over onto their stomach which can cause an infant to not get enough oxygen which is a dangerous thing.

As an infant enters six months of age, they are more likely to roll over onto the stomach to sleep and this is normal. At this age an infants brain and breathing system are mature enough to take in enough oxygen, and the risk of SIDS declines.

It is important not to overheat a nursery, or place your infants bed over a heat source, as overheating the infant increases the risk of SIDS. Wait until the child is a year old before putting a blanket or stuffed toys in the crib. Until that age, doctors recommend swaddling an infant in a receiving blanket to keep her/him warm.

Giving a baby a pacifier during sleep or a nap is a good thing. A pacifier can reduce the risk of SIDS, and help an infant to feel secure.

One last and very important fact is that putting an infant to sleep in the bed with you is dangerous. This is because over exhausted parents could accidentally roll over onto the baby during sleep. An infant could also, God forbid, be suffocated by a pillow or blanket.

It is safer to use a sleeping crib that connects directly next to your bed, or you could move your infants crib right next to your bed at night. This helps to greatly reduce the risk of SIDS because a parent is better able to care for the infant, and be alerted to any type of distress that can arise. Sleeping with an infant safely close by, could give a parent enough peace of mind to feel good and get some much needed sleep.







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