Avoid sudden infant death!

Very healthy, and suddenly the baby is dead! SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a terrible tragedy, but it could be largely prevented by reducing known risks.

In 1988 – before the advent of safe sleep campaigns – in Austria, 149 infants died from sudden infant death syndrome. Today, far fewer families are affected, yet in 2018, eight parents still had to experience this horrible experience. However, such tragedies would usually be prevented.

“Studies in SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) indicate a combination of factors. Avoiding parents’ known risk factors in their baby’s environment reduces the risk to almost zero, “explains Dr. Werner Sauseng, Head of the Sleep Medicine Group of the Austrian Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (ÖGKJ) . Bedding and pillows u.Ä. must disappear from the cot, as the child can easily get entangled in it, can not free themselves independently and suffocate. Soft mattresses carry the risk that the baby with the face sinks into it and can no longer breathe properly. “If parents refrain from smoking, they exclude another risk factor. For babies who were exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb and / or after birth have an increased risk. On the other hand, breastfed infants have a relatively low risk of SIDS, “adds Dr Sauseng, a specialist in pediatric and adolescent medicine in Kinberg. He, therefore, advises the following measures:

  • Let baby sleep on the back in the matching sleeping bag, in the parents’ room, but in your own bed.
  • Avoid any nicotine load!
  • Choose a firm, air-permeable mattress. No head padding, no stuffed animals!
  • Set the room temperature to 18-20 degrees to avoid overheating.
  • Breastfeeding, if possible, six months!
  • Maybe a pacifier can be preventative.
  • Special attention is needed for colds, as they make breathing difficult.