SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1. The exact cause of SIDS is unknown but some factors can lead to the death of a child. SIDS kills over 7,000 American babies each year. SIDS appears to happen very suddenly with no suffering. It is not a contagious disease, it can’t be predicted or prevented, and victims are usually healthy before. Although, SIDS is not something to stress over or worry about greatly because the risk of SIDS is only about one in 1,500 and getting smaller overall more boys are affected than girls. There are small ways to prevent SIDS that may protect your child. Any way you can protect your child from SIDS may be effective towards you and your child’s life. Some factors have been believed to be linked to SIDS. These factors include: sleeping on the stomach, being around cigarette smoke, sleeping in the same bed as their parents, incorrect bedding in the crib, too much carbon dioxide in a baby’s room, multiple births (twins), a mother who smokes or drank during pregnancy, premature birth, mothers younger than age 20, overheating during sleep, putting excessive blankets or toys in the crib, and even the sex of the baby. Although there isn’t a true way to prevent SIDS there are many steps a parent can take to decrease the chances of SIDS. One, of the many, very important ways to prevent SIDS is to have the correct bedding and sleeping posture. A baby must always sleep on its back, a baby sleeping on its stomach is unstable and could suffocate. It may seem strange, but avoid soft bedding, babies should be placed on a firm crib mattress, with one light sheet to cover them. Bedding can’t have comforters, pillows, or quilts that could suffocate or overheat a baby. Make sure the temperature of the room isn’t too hot or too cold.
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