Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
What can parents do to reduce the risk of SIDS?
Nobody knows how to totally prevent SIDS, but the latest research shows that there are things you can do to make your baby safer. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends:
- Put your baby to sleep on his back on his back on a firm, flat surface
Babies under one year of age who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Place your baby on his back, with his feet at the bottom of the crib. Be sure to tell anyone who looks after your baby - grandparents, friends, caregivers - to put him to sleep on his back.
- Remove soft, fluffy and loose bedding and stuffed toys from your baby's crib.
Make sure you keep all pillows, quilts, stuffed toys, bumper pads and other soft things away from your baby's sleep area.. Doctors think that not having enough air flowing around the baby could contribute to SIDS.
- Stay smoke- and drug-free
Don't smoke, drink or do drugs while you are pregnant. Make sure no one smokes around you when you're pregnant and make sure no one smokes around your baby after she's born. Babies who breathe in second hand smoke are at a higher risk of getting SIDS and at a higher risk of getting respiratory infections like pneumonia. Make your car and home smoke-free.
- Keep babies at a comfortable temperature – not too cold, not too hot
Make sure your baby does not get too warm while sleeping. If the room temperature is right for you, it's right for the baby, too. To check if your baby is too hot, place your hand on the back of his neck. If he is sweating, take off a layer of clothing.
- Breastfeed your baby, if possible
There is some evidence that breastfeeding may help lower the risk for SIDS. The reason for this is not clear, but doctors think that breast milk may help protect babies from infections that increase the risk of SIDS.
1. Leduc D., Côté A., & Woods S. (2014). Canadian Paediatric Society. Recommendations for safe sleeping environments for infants and children. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from, http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/safe-sleep-environments-infants-...