About SIDS

If you have found this blog, then you've probably come here by looking up SIDS blogs or general information regarding SIDS. I am sorry you had to find me, but I would like to welcome you. 

There are lots of misconceptions about SIDS and a lot of inaccurate information out there. I strive to include information in my blog that's informative, non-judgmental, and as up-to-date as possible.  I am constantly on the search for new research and studies. 

What is SIDS?

SIDS is the leading cause of death (COD) for infants up to one year of age. Unlike most causes of death, SIDS is a COD by exclusion. This means that after a complete autopsy, a COD has not been able to be determined. It's possible that SIDS is more than one thing. At this time, there is no definitive study that points toward one condition more than another, although many scientists believe that it might be linked to low levels of serotonin in the brain. 

What is SIDS NOT?

SIDS is NOT: accidental (or otherwise) suffocation, asphyxiation, choking, heart attack, strokes, seizures, neglect, congenital malformations (that we know of at this point), infections, or other discernible illnesses. 

When can SIDS happen?

SIDS can happen at any time up to one year of age. Most of the time, it occurs while the infant is sleeping. Some parents have lost their babies to SIDS when they were wide awake, however. After one year of age, it is still possible for a baby to die of SIDS, but that death is generally labeled Sudden Unknown Death Syndrome (SUDS). Most SIDS cases happen between 2 and 6 months of age, with the odds getting lower after the 6 month mark. Many babies have died of SIDS even at 12 months, though, so those numbers don't actually mean a lot of if you lost a baby sooner (Toby was 7 weeks) or later. 

Is SIDS preventable?

No. There is currently no way to prevent SIDS, since we're not even sure what it is. There are some "risk reducers" that might or might not lower the risk of SIDS. I generally do not post those on my blog because many of the parents I know followed all of these and still lost their babies so I try to be respectful to them.

What about SIDS products?

The FDA does not currently endorse any products that claim to prevent SIDS. There are apnea monitors out there that sound an alert when a baby stops breathing, but sleep apnea is not the same as SIDS. Generally speaking, once a baby stops breathing in a SIDS case, the baby is already dead. The cessation of breath is the last thing that occurs. In that instance, even CPR is useless.

Babies have died of SIDS while wearing the Halo Sleep Sacks and other SIDS products just as regularly as they have without using them. I have my own feelings towards these companies that prey on parents' fears to sell their products.  

Still, many parents choose to use the Angelcare Monitor and Snuza to give them some peace of mind. We briefly used the Snuza ourselves because often even a false sense of security is better than none at all.

Have SIDS cases really declined since the Back to Sleep Campaign?

Yes and no. SIDS cases were already declining and the Back to Sleep Campaign uses those figures in their statistics. While it's possible that placing the infant on its back has helped reduce the risk of SIDS, it's just as plausible that the decline has to do with different reporting methods by coroners, better prenatal care, and other outside factors. 


American SIDS Institute- http://www.sids.org/
Emedicine health- http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sudden_infant_death_syndrome_sids/article_em.htm
First Candle- http://www.firstcandle.org/
National Institute of Child Health & Development- http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sudden_infant_death_syndrome.cfm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- http://www.cdc.gov/sids/

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