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How to Prevent SIDS

Breathable Crib Mattress

How to Prevent SIDS

We want to help parents avoid a tragedy by sharing how to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Yearly, there are around 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the U.S. alone.

SIDS is an unfortunate reality that many new parents face. However, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS for your infant.

Read on to find out what sudden infant death syndrome is and what best to do for your baby to prevent SIDS.

What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the general term used when a baby suddenly dies for no obvious reason. In order for death to be under SIDS, the infant must be younger than the one-year-old.  If the child is over one year old, it is considered SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child).

The cause of death of a baby is typically defined as SIDS after a thorough investigation and no cause of death can be identified. 

SIDS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion.

Why Does Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Happen?

At the time of writing, scientists are not 100% sure what exactly causes SIDS. However, they speculate it is because infants are unable to effectively detect low oxygen or high carbon dioxide levels. Children and adults can wake up to prevent suffocation, but many babies are unable to do so.

There is a triple risk model that’s proposed by scientists:

  1. An undetectable abnormality prevents the infant from responding to low oxygen/high carbon dioxide levels
  2. There’s a triggering event (i.e. sleeping on the stomach, blanket around the face, hand or arm near the face)
  3. The above 2 points happen in a critical development period believed to be a rapid brain growth phase

Some SIDS deaths are not preventable, but most are preventable.  Infants in unsafe sleep conditions are at high risk of SIDS. 

How to Prevent SIDS

Unfortunately, we cannot fully prevent SIDS. The good news, however, is that there are many steps you can take to drastically reduce the risks of SIDS and the chances of it happening. Read on for our tips on how to prevent SIDS.

Preventing SIDS Starts with Get Your Infant Vaccinated

There is a small minority of people who believe vaccinations cause problems, including SIDS. But that’s not true.

In fact, vaccines help protect against SIDS. The evidence suggests vaccinations reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%. 

So, one sure way on how to prevent SIDS is getting your baby vaccinated.

Have Your Baby Sleep on Their Back Helps Prevent SIDS

If your baby is sleeping on their side or stomach, this can lead to one of two scenarios.  Firstly, when the crib mattress is soft, its nose and mouth are buried in the crib mattress, which cuts off its oxygen supply.  The second, when the crib mattress is firm, exhaled air (carbon dioxide) can be inhaled.  When carbon dioxide is continuously inhaled, it leads to death.

Another way to prevent SIDS is to always put your child down to sleep on their back. Back sleep is the safest place for a baby to sleep and is believed to significantly reduce the risk of SIDS.

Risk of SIDS Increases When Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping is something some parents choose because parents believe it helps them bond with their babies better.

But the fact is insufficient sleep associated with parenthood can prevent adults from getting clues they have rolled over on their infants. As a result, they can unintentionally suffocate their babies. Babies can also easily become entangled in the sheets and blankets.

For breastfeeding mothers, make sure that your infant is safely put in their crib before falling asleep. 

Your baby should have his own crib, which means he should not co-sleep with anyone. This means they should not sleep with you or their siblings. Co-sleeping is one of the biggest risk of SIDS and other infant sleep related deaths.

Keep the Crib in Your Room to Prevent SIDS

For the first three months of your child’s life, you should keep the crib in your room. This allows you to quickly check them and take lifesaving measures if you notice they are not breathing.  It is best to put the crib as close as possible to the bed.

After three months, your baby should eat enough to sleep through the night.

Keep the Crib as Bare as Possible

If you have a baby, you might want to decorate your crib so it is cute, or you might want them to have soft, comfortable objects with which they can snuggle, like blankets, toys and pillows. However, these items can trap harmful carbon dioxide, which increases the risk of death.  Avoiding rebreathing of carbon dioxide is one of the most important step to prevent SIDS.

Even plain pillows and blankets can significantly increase the risk of SIDS. All you need is a firm mattress, and that’s it. Do not use bumper pads; they have been associated with suffocation, asphyxiation and strangulation deaths of infants.  Some states have even banned selling them.

Make sure you dress your baby warmly and adequately for the weather.  The general rule is to add one more layer than you would have for the bed.  Wearable blankets are best suited to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Get a SafeSleep® Crib Mattress 

If you need a firm mattress, you should get one from SafeSleep ®.

The SafeSleep ® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has years of research and testing to create a safer, more sanitary sleeping environment for babies. The SafeSleep ® crib mattress is fully and easily washable.  It is also hypoallergenic.

According to leading AAP doctors and policymakers, SafeSleep® breathable crib mattress is a scientific answer to “how to prevent SIDS.”

The SafeSleep ® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress has been scientifically proven to have the lowest risk of suffocation and carbon dioxide rebreathing. So if your baby needs to sleep on their stomach for any reason, you want a SafeSleep ® crib mattress.  It’s the only crib mattress physicians write prescriptions for infants who must tummy sleep for health reasons.

Furthermore, the mattress has a 3D air-permeable topper and no core that leads to position pressure, which can cause skull deformities. Both factors will help keep your infant comfortable throughout the night.

And if the mattress is dirty, you can throw the topper in a washing machine and wipe the base! it’s the only completely washable crib mattress on the market.

Lower the Risk of SIDS

Now you know what sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is, why it happens, and how to prevent SIDS, you lower the chances of it happening to your baby.

Thank you for reading our blog on how to prevent SIDS. PLEASE share and pass this along to keep babies safe while sleeping.

Are there warning signs of SIDS?

Crib Mattress to Prevent SIDS

Are there warning signs of SIDS?

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has no symptoms or warning signs. Babies who die of SIDS seem healthy and normal.  They show no signs of struggle. 

Diagnosis of Exclusion

A baby is determined to have died from SIDS if no cause of death can be identified following a death scene investigation, an autopsy, and a review of the clinical history of the infant.   SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning he cause of death is labeled as SIDS only after all other causes have been excluded.

Carbon Dioxide Rebreathing

While there are no warning signs of SIDS and the cause of SIDS is unknown, many clinicians and researchers believe that SIDS is associated with problems in the ability of the baby to arouse from sleep to detect low levels of fresh oxygen.  Rebreathing carbon dioxide leads to hypoxia, and eventually death. 

SIDS is a big concern of most parents because there are no warning signs of SIDS.

Face Down Sleeping

When babies sleep face down, they can re-breathe exhaled carbon dioxide if sleeping on a fiber filled mattress or pad.  Babies who sleep on their tummy with their hand or arm close to their face can also re-breathe.  Normally, rising carbon dioxide levels activate nerve cells in the brain stem, which stimulate the brain’s respiratory and arousal centers. The baby then wakes up, turns his head, and breathes faster to get more oxygen. SIDS babies fail to rouse to get fresh oxygen.  Rebreathing of carbon dioxide eventually suppresses their need to breathe and they never wake.  SIDS babies simply pass in their sleep with no warning signs.

Triple-Risk Model

The “Triple-Risk Model” for SIDS has been proposed to explain how SIDS occurs, and why there are no warning signs of SIDS. The model holds that SIDS occurs when three conditions exist simultaneously:

  • the infant has an underlying (e.g., brainstem) abnormality that makes him unable to respond to low oxygen or high carbon dioxide blood levels
  • the infant is exposed to a triggering event such as sleeping face down on its tummy
  • these events occur during a vulnerable stage in the infant’s development, i.e., the first 6 months of life

The underlying abnormality is low serotonin levels in the brain stem.  We currently have no way to test infants to find out which ones do or do not have low serotonin levels.  The vulnerable stage in the infant’s development is believed to be a rapid brain growth phase.   Conception to birth is a human’s most rapid growth phase and birth to 1 year is the second.   Infant’s internal organs are growing quickly.  Unfortunately, we have no way to determine when an infant is growing through a rapid brain growth phase, so all infants remain vulnerable.    The Triple Risk Theory helps explain why there are no external warning signs for SIDS.

Risk Reduction

There is currently no way to “prevent” SIDS from occurring; however, you can vastly reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS by:

  • putting your baby to sleep on his back
  • keeping blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers, and other stuffed objects out of his crib
  • overheating your baby or his room when he sleeps
  • not smoking when you are pregnant and not allowing anyone to smoke around your baby
  • breastfeeding
  • Using an air permeable/breathe-through crib mattress that does not trap carbon dioxide even if your baby is sleeping face down or on their tummy

Over 3,400 infant deaths are classified as SIDS each year in the U.S., and there are no warning signs for these SIDS deaths.  The best a parent can do is make good choices to keep their sleeping baby safe.  The best way to keep your baby safe is to make sure when you put your baby to sleep for nap or night, you do everything possible to make sure there is nothing in your baby’s crib that can cause the build up of carbon dioxide should your baby roll to their tummy.  The creators of the first air permeable/breathe-through crib mattress found out the hard way what can happen when an infant rolls over on while sleeping on a fiber filled crib mattress.

SafeSleep®

Since there are no warning signs for SIDS, all infants remain at risk.  The SafeSleep® Breathe-Through Crib Mattress  has given over 80,000 parents piece of mind.  Why?  The SafeSleep®”Completely” Breathe-through Crib Mattress has been tested for carbon dioxide retention and has a ten-fold decrease in carbon dioxide retention when compared to a fiberfill mattress with a tight-fitting sheet.  It takes 2 minutes for carbon dioxide to dissipate on a firm crib mattress with a tight sheet; it takes less than 1/2 a second for it to dissipate on the SafeSleep® Crib Mattress.  An infant takes a breath every 1-2 seconds, meaning the carbon dioxide (poisonous gasses) on the SafeSleep® Breathe-Through mattress would be gone before the infant takes their next breath of air – even if face straight down

The hollow frame below the open weave top layer is filled with nothing but constantly circulating, pure organic air, creating the ideal oxygen rich sleep environment for your baby.  Check out all the features and benefits!