sudden%20infant%20death%20syndrome
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant <1 year of age that is unexplained after a systematic investigation of the case as well as performance of a full autopsy, investigation of the death scene and review of the medical history.
Risk factors include sleeping in prone or side position, male infants are more likely to be affected than female infants, perinatal period and beyond age 6 months, sleeping on soft surfaces or bedding, overheating or thermal stress, maternal smoking during pregnancy, young maternal age and pregnancy-related factors (eg inadequate or absence of prenatal care, higher birth order, preterm birth and/or low birth wt).

Patient Education

Sleeping Position
  • Advise parents & caregivers that infants should be placed in supine position, on a firm mattress covered w/ a fitted sheet every time they sleep
    • This position is recommended until the child reaches 1 year of age
    • For infants w/ gastroesophageal reflux w/ increased risk for death due to complications, the risk vs benefits should be discussed w/ the parents
  • Reduce the risk of positional plagiocephaly by alternating the placement of the infant’s head & by putting the infant in prone position when awake
  • Room-sharing when sleeping is recommended, however bed-sharing should be avoided
    • The ideal place for the infant to sleep is in a crib inside the parents’ room until the age of 6 months
  • Stay-away from heavy wrapping & overheating the infant
  • Keep loose bedding & soft materials out of the infant’s sleep environment
    • Placing the child’s head on a pillow/elevating infant’s head during sleep is not recommended
Parental Smoking
  • Discourage smoking during pregnancy
  • Infants should not be exposed to secondhand smoke
Infant Feeding
  • Breastfeeding is highly recommended
    • Studies have shown that breastfed infants have reduced risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Feeding should be done by the parent/guardian who is fully awake w/out any risk of falling asleep
  • During bedtime & naptime, infant may be offered a pacifier; delay use of pacifier until breastfeeding is well-established
    • Otitis media, which is associated w/ use of pacifier, generally has a lower occurrence from birth to 6 months, where risk of SIDS is at its highest
Others
  • Devices commercially marketed w/ claims that it reduces the risk for SIDS should be avoided
  • Following the schedule for your child’s immunizations & check-ups may help reduce the risk for SIDS
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