Kids and SIDS
Is it Preventable? How is it Caused? What do I do?!
SIDS: everything you need to know to protect your baby's life
SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Infants are usually under 1 year of age. Although many studies and investigations have been done, there has been no explanation for the sudden death of an infant in this situation.
Most typical situations, parents go to check on their sleeping infant and find him or her dead. This is the worst tragedy parents can face. Losing a baby leaves them with a depression. Sadness and a feeling of vulnerability lasts their whole lives. Since no one can tell them why their baby died, they blame themselves and often other innocent people. Their lives and those around them are changed forever.
Causes of SIDS:
Physical factors associated with SIDS include brain abnormalities where the portion of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep doesn't work properly, low birth weight where they have less reliable control over involuntary processes such as breathing and heart rate, and respiratory infection where the baby has a cold.
Sleeping habits such as sleeping on the stomach or side, sleeping on a soft surface, or sleeping in the same bed with parents can cause SIDS too.
Premature babies and babies exposed to smoke also have the risk of dying form SIDS.
Ways to Prevent SIDS:
- Put a sleeping baby on their back
- Use a firm bed with no soft toys or soft bedding
- Do not smoke around your baby
- Have your baby sleep close to you, but not in the same bed
- Breastfeed for as long as you can
- Immunize your baby
- Use a pacifier when putting your baby asleep
- Keep a constant body and room temperature for baby
- Do not use products advertising reduced risk of SIDS, it will not work
- Do not give honey to a newborn or baby under 1 year
How to Cope with Losing a Baby to SIDS
Every family member will respond to the loss of your baby in different ways. The mixture of having different ways of coping with the baby's death can tug the strings on both the marriage and family. Along with feeling tremendous grief, family members may be struggling with guilt and feeling responsible for the death of their baby. Support from family, friends, your doctor, and health professionals is most likely necessary for everyone grieving over the baby's loss. You may find it beneficial to:
- Join a grief support group. Ask your doctor if there are other parents who have lost babies to SIDS is available in your area to talk to and be mentored by.
- Get help from a counselor a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. Group counselling could help to deal with the tensions that arise after the loss of a newborn.
- Talk with a close family member, a friend, or someone you trust.
Sometimes letting it out is the best thing you can do for yourself to help the grieving process after losing a baby to SIDS.