October is SIDS Awareness Month
Our mission at Glow Dreaming is to bring sleep to those who need it most. We believe that we also have a responsibility of advocating safe sleeping for little ones along the way.
In honour of SIDS Awareness Month, we wanted to compile as much information as possible so that you yourselves are armed with the right, useful knowledge when making decisions about your child’s sleeping arrangements.
What is SIDS?
SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and is also sometimes referred to as Crib Death.
It refers to an instance when, unexpectedly, an infant passes away in their sleep.
What age are children affected by SIDS?
Though it is impossible to predict if a family will be touched by SIDS, the most common age range is between 1 and 4 months old. However, it has been known to occur anywhere in the first year of a child’s life.
How do I know if my child is at risk of SIDS?
Unfortunately, SIDS is still a syndrome that goes without a reason for occurring. As referenced by its name, an explanation of why it happens cannot be determined. There are some infants that are more at risk than others. These include:
- Babies between 1 and 4 months
- Boys more so than girls
Circumstance that place infants at a higher risk of SIDS.
- Infants that sleep on their side or stomach
- Infants who overheat when they’re sleeping
- Sleeping in a space that is too soft
- Sleeping with fluffy blankets or toys
- Infants who’s mothers smoke while they’re in the womb
- Infants who are exposed to passive smoke
- Infants of first-time mothers that are younger than 20 years of age
- Infants with mothers who had little, late or no prenatal care
- Premature infants
- Low-weight infants
- Infants who have had a sibling pass from SIDS
There are some theories as to why SIDS occurs. These include suspicions of some infants having an underlying abnormality that makes them unable to respond to low oxygen levels or high carbon dioxide levels, or when infants are exposed to a ‘triggering event’ such as sleeping face down. Another theory is that it could be related to these events happening during a particularly vulnerable stage in the infant’s life (first 6 months).
SIDS is the diagnosis when all other potential causes of a passing have been ruled out.
Are there ways to prevent SIDS?
Due to the current status of the syndrome being that its cause cannot be determined, there is no sure way of preventing it. However, there are ways for you to reduce an infant’s risk of SIDS. They are as follows:
- Ensuring the infant is placed to sleep on their back
- Ensuring the sleep surface (the mattress) is firm and the sleeping space (crib or cot) is free from blankets and stuffed animals
- Keeping the infants sleep space in the ideal temperature range of 19-21 degrees Celsius, or making adjustments to their space/attire depending on the heat or coolness of the room to keep the baby as comfortable and regulated as possible
- Do not smoke while pregnant
- Do not allow the infant to be at risk of passive smoking
SIDS Safe Sleeping Arrangement
- Baby is asleep on their back
- No bedding is near/covering the face and head
- Baby sleeps at the bottom of the cot
- Baby’s blanket can only reach the chest
- This will ensure that baby cannot move down in their cot and get their head under the bedding.