Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under one-year-old. SIDS is one of the leading causes of deaths in infants ages 2 to 4 months, as reported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Although SIDS occurs without evident warning, there have been studies that identified certain factors that may contribute to the death of some infants.
Causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
In a study conducted for more than 20 years, it has been determined that there are certain factors that may contribute to SIDS such as genetics, sleep environment, and sleep position of the infant.
An example would be that those babies who sleep on their stomachs have a higher risk for SIDS than those that sleep on their backs. For genetics, it has been found that African American babies are twice as susceptible to SIDS, and American Indian/Alaska Native infants are three times more susceptible to SIDS than their white counterparts.
For sleep environment, baby cribs have also been linked to certain deaths related to SIDS, such as defective cribs and soft beddings. Other factors that may be considered are vaccines, exposure to toxic chemicals, parents’ and caregivers’ alcohol or drug consumption, and levels of brain chemical serotonin on the infant.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome—Prevention
The AAP recommends certain steps to help prevent SIDS and other deaths that are related to sleep. The AAP recommends that parents and caregivers lay the infant on its back when they sleep instead of on their stomachs or side.
The FDA and CPSC recommend the use of firmer sleeping surface for babies and to remove soft and loose bedding from the crib. In addition to that, they also recommend using only those cribs that follow CPSC safety standards. Find more tips below.
Go to the FDA, CPSC, or AAP websites for more information on SIDS. If your child has been injured by a defect in a product, such as a crib, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
FDA & CPSC Warnings & Tips
Listed here are some warnings issued regarding SIDS:
Infant Sleep Positioners May Pose Suffocation Risk – The FDA, AAP, NIH, and CSPC advises parents to place their babies on their backs when sleeping, and to remove all objects that may potentially cause suffocation to the baby, regardless of the sleeping position.
Soft Bedding Under Infants May Cause Suffocation Risk – The CSPC advises against putting soft bedding in cribs because of the risk that the bedding may obstruct the infant’s breathing.