Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a real fear for parents. It can affect any family, seemingly without reason or warning.
Get the Facts
Sometimes a baby who seems healthy dies during sleep. If this happens to a healthy baby younger than one year old, it’s called sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. In most cases, a parent or caregiver places the baby down to sleep and returns later to find the baby has died. But, unfortunately, it’s no one’s fault. SIDS can happen even when you do everything right.
What causes it?
Doctors don’t know what causes SIDS, but researchers are studying the possibility that SIDS may be caused by problems with how well the brain controls breathing, heart rate and rhythm, and temperature during the first few months of life.
Some factors may increase the risk of SIDS.
If during pregnancy, the mother:
- Is younger than 20 years old.
- Smoked or vaped.
- Uses drugs or alcohol.
- Did not have prenatal care.
If the baby is:
- Part of a multiple pregnancy (for example, a twin or triplet).
- Put down to bed on their stomach or side.
- In a bed on a soft surface or with loose blankets or pillows.
- Sharing a bed with parents, siblings, or pets.
- Dressed too warmly or in a very warm room.
There is no sure way to prevent SIDS. But there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other deaths related to sleep.
- Put your baby to sleep on their back, not on their side or tummy.
- Don’t expose your baby to secondhand smoke.
- Have your baby sleep in a crib, cradle, or bassinet in the same room where you sleep. Don’t sleep with your baby in the same bed.
- Never sleep with a baby on a couch or an armchair.
- Keep soft items and loose bedding out of the crib.
- Make sure that your baby’s crib has a firm mattress (with a fitted sheet). Don’t use sleep positioners, bumper pads, or other products that attach to crib slats or sides.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature so your baby can sleep in lightweight clothes without a blanket.
- Consider giving your baby a pacifier while they sleep.
Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or click here to contact us.
Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.