Approximately 60 percent of SIDS victims are male, reports Horne. “Our study has highlighted the fact that SIDS is multi-factorial and that at present it is not possible to predict the deadly combination of internal and environmental factors that will result in SIDS,” Horne said.
1 (HealthDay News) - Experts have long known that sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is more common in boys than girls, but a new study suggests that gender differences in levels of wakefulness are not to blame. In fact, the researchers found that infant boys are more easily aroused from sleep than girls.
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. Slightly more boys die of SIDS than girls.
This vulnerability may be caused by being born prematurely or having a low birthweight, or because of other reasons that have not been identified yet. Environmental stresses could include tobacco smoke, getting tangled in bedding, a minor illness or a breathing obstruction.
SIDS can occur anytime during a baby's first year of life (it's extremely rare after 1 year of age). Although the causes of SIDS are still largely unknown, doctors do know that the risk of SIDS appears to peak between 2 and 4 months of age and decreases after 6 months.
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.
Other things that SIDS is not: SIDS is not the same as suffocation and is not caused by suffocation. SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots. SIDS is not contagious.
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.
They found the survival rate for SIDS was 0%. Although 5% of infants had a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), none ultimately survived.
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.
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.
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.
White noise reduces the risk of SIDS.
We DO know that white noise reduces active sleep (which is the sleep state where SIDS is most likely to occur).
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.
SIDS is more likely in babies placed on their stomachs to sleep than babies sleeping on their backs. Babies also should not be placed on their sides to sleep. A baby can easily roll from a side position onto the belly during sleep. Some researchers believe that stomach sleeping may block the airway.
Conclusions: SIDS can happen at any time of the day and relatively quickly. Parents need to be made aware that placing infants supine and keeping them under supervision is equally important for day-time sleeps.
Goodstein said, when babies sleep in the same room as their parents, the background sounds or stirrings prevent very deep sleep and that helps keeps the babies safe. Room sharing also makes breast-feeding easier, which is protective against SIDS.
The results found that running a fan in a sleeping infant's room lowered the risk for SIDS by 72 percent. That risk was lowered even further when the infant's sleeping conditions put him or her at higher risk for SIDS, such as sleeping in a warm room or sleeping on the stomach.
Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their body temperatures well. Studies have shown that multiple layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets, and warm room temperatures increase SIDS risk.
Sleeping with baby on your chest
As tempting as it is to catch a quick nap with your baby asleep on your chest, it's a big risk. Sleeping on a couch, armchair or recliner with an infant increases the risk of SIDS death by up to 70%, said Goodstein.
Babies should be kept warm during sleep, but not too warm. Studies show that an overheated baby is more likely to go into a deep sleep from which it is difficult to arouse. Some evidence indicates that increased SIDS risk is associated with excessive clothing or blankets and a higher temperature in the room.
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.