Sudden infant death is the leading cause of death in Western countries in children between one and twelve months. It has become a nightmare that haunts many parents.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is clinically defined as 'the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant'. It represents the most important cause of death in infants under one year of age, excluding the neonatal period.
Despite research conducted over the past 20 years, we still there are no clear answers about that. Risks can now be reduced, but the mechanisms that lead to death are still unknown. It is one of the most unknown diseases of our day. The Syndrome is considered as a process caused by several factors, affecting an apparently healthy infant, which alters his breathing and leads to his unexpected death while sleeping.
Attention should be paid to three groups of infants:
- Premature patients with apneas or prolonged pauses without breathing, and others with bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- Infants with apnea of unknown cause or an Apparently Lethal Episode (feeling short of breath, discoloration, purple or pale skin, loss of muscle tone or strength ...)
- Later siblings or twins of a victim of the syndrome
According to some research, it is recommended that parents follow some recommendations that are, in some way, 'protecting' children from the syndrome:
- Supine position (face up to sleep): Healthy children should sleep on their backs. Fat pillows and cushions or thick quilts should be removed from the crib where you lay it, as they could suffocate the infant.
- Children with pathological gastroesophageal reflux should sleep on their side or stomach.
- The child must be in an atmosphere free from cigarette smoke, before and after birth.
- If the mother smokes during pregnancy and during the baby's first year of life, the risk of the syndrome increases 4.09 times.
- If both parents smoke, the risk increases by 2.41 times more.
- The baby's head should not be covered with bedding while sleeping.
- Studies show that between 16 and 22% of children who are victims of sudden death have their heads covered by bedding.
- It is convenient that the baby's feet contact the limit of the crib. In this way the baby has less chance to move under the bedding.
The sudden and unexpected death of a baby causes enormous pain to parents and their families. When a baby dies from an unknown cause such as this syndrome, that pain is accompanied by the question: Why did my child die?
On the other hand, the training initiative addresses the psychological treatment of parents who suffer the loss of a child or who suffer an apparently lethal episode, to avoid the stress situations derived from these situations. It is important to encourage the creation of associations to assist parents as well as to disseminate campaigns for the prevention of Sudden Death Syndrome in infants.
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