Please remember that Nora was 11 1/2 months, 10 days from her first brithday, when she passed away.

SIDS can happen AT ANY TIME and AT ANY AGE!

What is SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death among infants one month through one year of age in the United States.  The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) defines SIDS as the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the clinical history.  SIDS is therefore a diagnosis of exclusion, affixed only once all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out.

SIDS Facts

  • SIDS claims the lives of almost 3,000 infants in the U.S. each year - that's nearly 9 babies every day.
  • SIDS deaths occur unexpectedly and quickly to apparently healthy infants, usually during periods of sleep.
  • Most SIDS victims are between two and four months of age.
  • SIDS occurs in families of all races and socioeconomic levels.
  • SIDS can not be predicted or prevented.
  • SIDS is NOT caused by suffocation, choking, immunizations or vaccinations.  It is not contagious, nor is it a result of neglected illness or child abuse.
  • SIDS can, and does, claim any baby, in spite of parents doing everything right.
1. Put your healthy baby on its back to sleep - If your baby has problems breathing or spits up a lot after feeding, ask your doctor about how your baby should sleep.

2. No smoking near the baby - Do not smoke during pregnancy and do not let others smoke near your baby.

3. Do not let your baby get too hot - Dress your baby in as much or as little as you would wear.  Do not wrap your baby in lots of blankets or clothes.  If your baby is sweating, has damp hair, or a heat rash, he or she may be too hot.  A baby that has a fever, is breathing fast, or is not able to rest, may also be too hot.

4. Put your baby to sleep on a firm mattress - Do not let the baby sleep on soft things, like cushions, pillows, blankets, the couch, sheepskins, foam pads, or waterbeds.

5. Take good care of yourself and your baby - When pregnant, see your doctor often and do not use drugs or alcohol.   Talk with your baby's doctor about changes in your baby and how your baby acts.

6. If possible, breast feed your baby - Breast feeding has been shown to be good for your baby.

 

The Impact of SIDS

The sudden, unexpected death of an infant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a tragic loss.  Death happens suddenly, and the family often has no time to prepare.  The infant may recently have been given a clean bill of health from the pediatrician.

The death of an infant from SIDS disrupts the natural order and is a traumatic event that affects the family for the rest of their lives. The sudden, unexpected death of an infant threatens parents' safety and security and forces them to confront their own mortality. The lack of a discernible cause, the suddenness of the tragedy and the involvement of the legal system make a SIDS death especially difficult, leaving a great sense of loss and a need for understanding.   The impact of SIDS is extensive and affects a myriad of people from parents, siblings, and grandparents to extended family, friends, babysitters, and co-workers. Families are directly helped through information and support services to alleviate their guilt and aid in understanding this devastating syndrome.

Parents often complain of physical symptoms such as aches, tightness in the throat, loss of appetite, insomnia, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.  They are often fearful of "going crazy" as they continue to hear the baby cry at night or wake to care for an infant who is no longer there.

The lack of a definitive cause of death, even after autopsy, does little to alleviate any feelings of guilt the parents may have about their responsibility for the death.  They often blame themselves. The "if onlys" plague parents who wonder if there was something in the baby's behavior or health they may have missed.  A generally uninformed public, including family members and health care professionals, can add to the grief and guilt of the family by voicing incorrect assumptions.  Parents have been accused of neglecting or abusing their child because of mistaken information. They need to know that they did not cause, nor could they have prevented, the death. It is not their fault.

 

Intervention

It is possible to prevent serious family problems resulting from a lack of information and support.  Knowledge of accurate information about SIDS and an awareness of the needs and feelings of the surviving members can do much to alleviate needless suffering.

Parents need to talk about their baby.   They need to talk about the events of his/her life and death, feelings related to their own grieving process, reactions of others and concerns about subsequent or surviving siblings.  Immediate intervention can answer the family's questions and begin to provide them with an understanding, of their feelings.

 

Source: CJ Foundation For SIDS
http://www.cjsids.com

 

Safe Sleep Top 10

  1. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night. The back sleep position is the safest, and every sleep time counts.

  2. Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, or other soft surfaces.

  3. Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area. Don't use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, and pillow-like crib bumpers in your baby's sleep area, and keep any other items away from your baby's face.

  4. Do not allow smoking around your baby. Don't smoke before or after the birth of your baby, and don't let others smoke around your baby.

  5. Keep your baby's sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep. Your baby should not sleep in a bed or on a couch or armchair with adults or other children, but he or she can sleep in the same room as you. If you bring the baby into bed with you to breastfeed, put him or her back in a separate sleep area, such as a bassinet, crib, cradle, or a bedside cosleeper (infant bed that attaches to an adult bed) when finished.

  6. Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep,
    but don't force the baby to take it. (If you are breastfeeding your baby, wait until your child is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.)

  7. Do not let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing, and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.

  8. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS because most have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.

  9. Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you have questions about using monitors for other conditions talk to your health care provider.
  10. Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby's head: provide "Tummy Time" when your baby is awake and someone is watching; change the direction that your baby lies in the crib from one week to the next; and avoid too much time in car seats, carriers, and bouncers.

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

 

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