The term sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) was first proposed in 1969 in order to focus attention on a subgroup of infants with similar clinical features whose deaths occurred unexpectedly in the postnatal period (1).
The first, in 1947, described epidemiological and autopsy findings from 167 consecutive infants under one year of age who died unexpectedly while asleep over a 15-year period. The authors noted that they belonged “to the group which was ordinarily certified as dead of accidental mechanical suffocation” (22).
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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.
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).
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 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.
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.
Oftentimes, babies who succumb to SIDS have had a “minor infection” in the days before death. Infants' immune systems are immature, and breast milk helps to provide necessary antibodies to fight infections such as RSV, which can contribute to inflammation and lead to SIDS. Breastfeeding promotes safer sleep.
More recently, the highest SIDS rates (>0.5/1000 live births) are in New Zealand and the United States.
SIDS rates declined considerably from 130.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 38.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020. Unknown cause infant mortality rates remained unchanged from 1990 until 1998, when rates began to increase.
Several instances of infanticide have been uncovered in which the diagnosis was originally SIDS. The estimate of the percentage of SIDS deaths that are actually infanticide varies from less than 1% to up to 5% of cases.
Rates of SIDS were calculated by dividing the number of SIDS cases in a year by the number of live-born infants in that calendar year. From 1980 through 1988, 47,932 infants born to U.S. residents died from SIDS (Table 1).
They found the survival rate for SIDS was 0%. Although 5% of infants had a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), none ultimately survived.
Autopsy cannot distinguish death due to SIDS from death by suffocation. However, certain elements of the history may raise a suspicion of abuse, though none of these elements is pathognomonic.
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.
"Those signs or symptoms included [infants] being drowsy most of the time when awake, infants wheezing, and infants taking less than half the normal amount of fluids in the last 24 hours before their deaths."
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).
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.
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.
It just so happens that there is one bundle of tricks known as the “5 S's.” Pediatrician Harvey Karp pioneered this method when he brought together five techniques that mothers have often used and organized them into this easy mnemonic: swaddle, side-stomach position, shush, swing, and suck.