Each year, there are about 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States. These deaths occur among infants less than 1 year old and have no immediately obvious cause. The three commonly reported types of SUID include the following: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Each year in the United States, thousands of babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. These deaths are called SUID (pronounced Soo-id), which stands for “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.” SUID includes all unexpected deaths: those without a clear cause, such as SIDS, and those from a known cause, such as suffocation.
While the cause of SIDS is unknown, many clinicians and researchers believe that SIDS is associated with problems in the ability of the baby to arouse from sleep, to detect low levels of oxygen, or a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood. When babies sleep face down, they may re-breathe exhaled carbon dioxide.
Although SIDS can occur at any age before 12 months, it is most common when an infant is between 1–4 months old. SIDS is less common after an infant is 8 months old, but a person should still take precautions to reduce the risk.
Sucking on a pacifier requires forward positioning of the tongue, thus decreasing this risk of oropharyngeal obstruction. The influence of pacifier use on sleep position may also contribute to its apparent protective effect against SIDS.
Swaddling Reduces SIDS and Suffocation Risk
This extremely low SIDS rate suggests that wrapping may actually help prevent SIDS and suffocation. Australian doctors also found that swaddled babies (sleeping on the back) were 1/3 less likely to die from SIDS, and a New Zealand study found a similar benefit.
According to Evolutionary Parenting, Japan has significant lower rates of maternal smoking and alcohol consumption — and research has shown that maternal smoking has a direct relation to SIDS. Factors like these could have a direct influence on the lowered SIDS rate for Asian children.
Babies who are breastfed or are fed expressed breastmilk are at lower risk for SIDS compared with babies who were never fed breastmilk. According to research, the longer you exclusively breastfeed your baby (meaning not supplementing with formula or solid food), the lower his or her risk of SIDS.
It's safe for your baby to nap on your chest as long as you remain awake and aware of the baby. But if you fall asleep too, it raises the risk of injury (or death) to your baby.
More recently, the highest SIDS rates (>0.5/1000 live births) are in New Zealand and the United States. The lowest rates (<0.2/1000) are in Japan and the Netherlands.
The lowest SIDS rates among these countries were in the Netherlands and Japan. It is important to note that the age of inclusion for SIDS varies from country to country, with some countries defining SIDS as occurring from age 1 week to age 1 year, while others use a range from birth to age 1 year or another range.
SIDS is most common at 2-4 months of age when the cardiorespiratory system of all infants is in rapid transition and therefore unstable. So, all infants in this age range are at risk for dysfunction of neurological control of breathing.
Because this reduces their Moro reflex, swaddled babies are less likely to wake on their own. This, however, increases the risk of sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. So it's important for swaddled babies to be placed on their back.
Even so, the risk of SIDS can be greatly reduced. Most important: Babies younger than 1 year old should be placed on their backs to sleep — never on their stomachs or on their sides. Sleeping on the stomach or side increases the risk for SIDS.
SIDS has no symptoms or warning signs. Babies who die of SIDS seem healthy before being put to bed. They show no signs of struggle and are often found in the same position as when they were placed in the bed.
Overheating may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies one month to one year of age. Many experts recommend that the temperature in the room where a baby's sleeps be kept between 68–72°F (20–22.2°C).
Always Place Baby on His or Her Back To Sleep, for Naps and at Night, To Reduce the Risk of SIDS. The back sleep position is the safest position for all babies, until they are 1 year old.
A new system that involves the five S's — swaddling, side/stomach positioning in the parents' arms, shushing, swinging, and sucking — can calm most crying infants, Dr. Karp said. This activates the baby's calming reflex during the first three to four months of life by mimicking experiences in the uterus.
The potential factors that contribute to the occurrence of SIDS include inadequate prenatal care, low birth weight (<2499gr), premature infants, intrauterine growth delay, short interval between pregnancies and maternal substance use (tobacco, alcohol, opiates).
Most SIDS deaths happen in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths happen before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However, SIDS deaths can happen anytime during a baby's first year.
The sudden and unexpected death of an infant due to natural or unnatural causes. Causes of SUID and SUDI can include: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – SIDS is one of several causes of SUID/SUDI. However, SIDS, unlike the other SUID/SUDI causes, is a diagnosis of exclusion.