What You Should Know about SIDS

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SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a condition that can affect any child under the age of 1. While the cause is still unknown, it is thought to happen while the child is sleeping and usually at night. It can only be ruled as a SIDS death if no other cause of death can be established after an investigation is performed.

While the cause might not be known, there are certain risk factors that have been identified as contributors to a SIDS death. If the mother of the infant smokes, is younger than 20, or uses drugs and alcohol, the chances of SIDS increases. Also, family history, low birth weight, boys, and those under 2 months also have an increased change of passing from this syndrome.

Even though there is no way to predict whether or not your child will suffer from SIDS, there are things you can do to reduce the risk. Be sure to always put your baby on their back to sleep. Also, it's important to breastfeed your baby if possible and allow your child to use a pacifier when falling asleep. Finally, don't cosleep. Instead, allow your baby to sleep in a cradle in your room and keep baby's bed as free from unnecessary clutter as possible. Stuffed animals and extra blankets should be removed.

If you have questions or concerns involving SIDS, speak with your OB or pediatrician.

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