Taking care of a newborn might be more than overwhelming, even if medicine today has solved a lot of issues. Research and education go hand in hand when it comes to teaching moms how to take care of their baby and prevent exposure to risk factors. The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is just one of the many risks a newborn faces. A dedicated SIDS campaign has reduced the number of cases, but a new shift in its risk factors reminds everybody it remains an urgent issue.
A campaign that addressed ways to reduce the risks featured by the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has managed to reduce the number of such cases by more than 50 percent. A minor change such as suggesting parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs has changed considerably the number of deaths associated with the disorder. However, a new study comes to show that tummy sleeping isn’t the only risk factor associated with the SIDS.
The April print issue of the journal ‘Pediatrics’ gives insight on the matter of the shifted focus in SIDS risk factors. Researchers with the San Diego Rady Children’s Hospital’s SIDS/Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Research Project have pointed out there are other risk factors involved apart from tummy sleeping.
The study looked at 568 deaths associated with SIDS in the San Diego area during 17 years and found that factors such as bed sharing and exposure to alcohol and smoking in the uterus can make the infant more vulnerable.
Dr. Henry Krous is the directors of the San Diego SIDS research project and co-author of the study at hand. He explained: “Exposure to cigarette smoke, either when the baby is in utero or after the baby has been born is a very important risk factor for SIDS”.
Meanwhile other factors, considered harmless until now, can also raise a child’s vulnerability to SIDS. Researchers pointed out that infants that died of SIDS were subjected around the time of the death to the following factors: sleeping with the head covered, on an adult mattress or couch, as well as sharing the bed.
However, the study showed that the Back-to-Sleep campaign had a lot of success. Ever since the program was initiated, in 1994, the number of SIDS related deaths has decreased by more than 50 percent.