|REDUCING THE RISK OF SIDS|
|HOW CAN YOU REDUCE THE RISKS:|
|The following information is taken from the SIDS families pamphlet....
* Put baby to sleep on his or her back.
* Place baby on a firm mattress, in a safety approved crib or bassinet, to sleep.
* No fluffy bedding or toys in the crib while the baby sleeps.
* Keep baby's face uncovered.
* Don't let baby get overheated.
* Put baby's feet at the bottom of the crib so they won't scoot down underneath
* No smoking during pregnancy and don't let anyone smoke around your baby.
* Ensure you have good prenatal care.
* Establish and maintain good healthcare for your baby after birth.
* Breastfeed baby.
* Do not use sheepskin for baby.
* Never put baby on a waterbed, futon, beanbag, sofa or other place not
designed for baby to sleep.
* Use cotton cothing and cotton bedding.
* Wrap baby's mattress with a polyethelene cover specifically designed for
* Keep baby's immunizations up to date.
* Keep you child in an environment free of mold and mildew.
* Ensure your baby is in a well ventilated room so baby is not re-breathing
* Have your baby tested for metabolic disorders.
* Have your baby's heart and heart-rate tested
** EDUCATE EVERYONE LOOKING AFTER YOUR BABY ABOUT
THESE RISK REDUCERS.
(Indicates a risk factor which is debated)
You may wonder why debated or inconclusive information is listed here. Since this pamphlet has been created as a project of families who have already lost a baby to SIDS, we felt it was extremely important to list all possible factors. After their baby died, when some of the parents asked doctors why they were not told about all of these risk-reducers, they were simply told, "We don't want to worry parents unnecessarily." We happen to think it's a necessity that you be armed with all the knowledge you can get! You can't make an informed choice for your family without all of the information. Unfortunately, we weren't afforded the chance to use most of these risk reducers, and some of us had never even heard of SIDS before a coroner told us that's what claimed the life of our child. We weren't aware of some of these simple things which could have offered some protection for our children, and we'll never know now if any of these simple steps might have saved them. We thought we were safe, we believed it could never happen to us. Some of us were even told at the hospital, "Don't worry about it," when asking about SIDS.
There are also some identified risk factors over which a parent has little or no control. These are based on statistics:
* Boys are at higher risk.
* More babies die of SIDS during the winter months.
* Premature babies and babies of low birth weight are at a higher risk of SIDS,
but this doesn't mean that term, healthy babies are not at risk.
* Subsequent babies are at a higher risk of SIDS than other babies born earlier to
the same family.
* Impoverished families and babies born to young mothers (less than 20 years old)
have a higher risk.
* Babies are believed to be at risk from the age of 1 month to 12 months, with the
majority of deaths happening between 2 and 4 months of age, tapering off at 6
months of age. However, there have been deaths younger than one month, and
older than 12 months and these deaths were consistent with SIDS.
* Twins and other multiples have a higher risk of SIDS than singletons.
* Babies born to mothers with a short interval between pregnancies, or those born to
mothers with little prenatal care, seem to be more vulnerable to SIDS.
* Race seems to play a role in SIDS as well. African-American babies and Native
American babies are at a greater risk statistically.
Many infants with no risk factors at all have still died of SIDS, while other infants with many risk factors are alive and thriving today. These methods of reducing the risks are not a guarantee you are safe from SIDS, but are based on statistics from previous deaths, research and methods that have been successful at reducing the national number of SIDS deaths over the years. Unfortunately it's all we have. There is no guaranteed method to prevent SIDS, but to learn of this information after it's too late makes it even more difficult to cope with a loss to SIDS.