A sudden death is causes by a breathing arrest. The baby stops breathing during sleep and suffocates. SIDS is the abbreviation of the term Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Even entirely healthy children up to 1 year of age are endangered by sudden infant death syndrome. It occurs most frequently between the second and fourth month. The most risky month is the second month after birth.
The risk decreases with the increasing age of infants. The central nervous system develops and the resistance and immunity of the organism gets higher.
Unfortunately, the answer is still unknown. Although scientists have been investigating SIDS for tens of years, the causes of the sudden infant death syndrome remain unexplained. They have not been clarified by autopsies, laboratory research or analyses of circumstances in the place of death. The syndrome even causes death of healthy children that have not had any problems.
International studies have shown some risk factors that are common for a major part of SIDS cases.
|The mother’s role||Before and after the birth||Other factors|
|Anaemia||Premature birth||Artificial feeding|
|Smoking and drugs||Overdue pregnancy||Overheating of the baby (clothing, blankets, overheated room)|
|Uterus infection||Shortage of oxygen||Too soft a surface for sleeping|
|Low age (16 - 17 years), basic education||Growth retardation||Front position during sleeping|
|Short time interval since the previous pregnancy, insufficient feeding and pre-birth care||Problematic development in the first three months of pregnancy||Sleeping with parents|
|Low socio-economical level, incomplete family||Disorders of breathing and heart rhythm, thermo-regulation, metabolism and immunity||A recent fever illness (during the last 2 weeks of life)|
The good news is that thanks to education and parental care the occurrence rate of SIDS is decreasing.
E.g. in the U.S. the number of cases has dropped by 75 % since 1980.
Therefore, we are bringing experts’ advice and recommendations to you:
If your baby does not breathe regularly at certain intervals, consult a paediatrician. If a breathing arrest or regurgitation after coughing occurs, inform a physician immediately.
If the baby stops breathing, call an ambulance and provide the baby with first aid.