EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT/
YOUNG CHILDREN PRIORITY ONE NEWSLETTER
AVA ADAMS, DISTRICT CHAIR
NEW ENGLAND AND BERMUDA DISTRICT
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME
SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.
More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.
Most SIDS deaths occur when in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby's first year.
SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who
Slightly more boys die of SIDS than do girls.
In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year. But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.
SIDS rates for the United States have dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of infant lives have been saved, but some ethnic groups are still at higher risk for SIDS.
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS)
Information provided by the Mayo Clinic
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.
Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS may be associated with abnormalities in the portion of an infant's brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.
Researchers have discovered some factors that may put babies at extra risk. They've also identified some measures you can take to help protect your child from SIDS. Perhaps the most important measure is placing your baby on his or her back to sleep.
A combination of physical and sleep environmental factors can make an infant more vulnerable to SIDS. These factors may vary from child to child.
Physical factors associated with SIDS include:
• Brain abnormalities. Some infants are born with problems that make them more likely to die of SIDS. In many of these babies, the portion of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep isn't yet mature enough to work properly.
• Low birth weight. Premature birth or being part of a multiple birth increases the likelihood that a baby's brain hasn't matured completely, so he or she has less control over such automatic processes as breathing and heart rate.
• Respiratory infection. Many infants who died of SIDS had recently had a cold, which may contribute to breathing problems.
Sleep environmental factors
The items in a baby's crib and his or her sleeping position can combine with a baby's physical problems to increase the risk of SIDS. Examples include:
• Sleeping on the stomach or side. Babies who are placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep may have more difficulty breathing than those placed on their backs.
• Sleeping on a soft surface. Lying face down on a fluffy comforter or a waterbed can block an infant's airway. Draping a blanket over a baby's head also is risky.
• Sleeping with parents. While the risk of SIDS is lowered if an infant sleeps in the same room as his or her parents, the risk increases if the baby sleeps in the same bed — partly because there are more soft surfaces to impair breathing.
Although sudden infant death syndrome can strike any infant, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a baby's risk. They include:
• Sex. Boys are more likely to die of SIDS.
• Age. Infants are most vulnerable during the second and third months of life.
• Race. For reasons that aren't well-understood, black, American Indian or Alaska Native infants are more likely to develop SIDS.
• Family history. Babies who've had siblings or cousins die of SIDS are at higher risk of SIDS.
• Secondhand smoke. Babies who live with smokers have a higher risk of SIDS.
• Being premature. Both being born early and having low birth weight increase your baby's chances of SIDS.
Maternal risk factors
During pregnancy, the risk of SIDS is also affected by the mother, especially if she:
• Is younger than 20
• Smokes cigarettes
• Uses drugs or alcohol
• Has inadequate prenatal care
HOW CAN KIWANIS CLUBS HELP?
• Educate the public by distributing this information at Health Faits, Pediatrician'sOffices, OB/GYN Offices, Urgent Care Facilities, Day Care Providers etc.
• Attached to this email is a brochure from Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute, Boston, MA. which can be reproduced and distributed.
The following is an online website where new parents/caregivers can sign up for educational
information and a baby box to help prevent SIDS:
BABY BOX UNIVERSITY
Young Children Priority One (Y.C.P.O.) District Chair
New England and Bermuda District