How to prevent sudden infant death syndrome

August 12, 2017 17:51 | Child Health

Until recently, the idea of ​​this syndrome was: "No one knows why this happens, parents and nothing can not prevent it."New studies put such gloomy statements into question.For parents who are concerned about such tragedies, we offer up to date information about this syndrome and, more importantly, ways in which you can reduce your risk.

Before going further, we would like to issue a warning: The following data are given in order to inform, not to offend;instill optimism, rather than scare.Understand all the details of this horrible puzzle, parents would worry less.Knowing that they can become active participants in their own risk reduction program, they will not feel so helpless.We do not want to say that if you do not take all the precautions we recommend that your child may die, or that if you do it, as it is written, it can not happen.In addition, sudden infant death syndrome - a rare phenomenon (see box "Facts about sudden infant death syndrome.").But our recommendations can reduce the risk to y

our child.They are based on the most recent studies of the syndrome, as well as our own experiments.All tips to reduce risk have been detailed studies, although some studies have not been completed.While the new study does not help us to better understand and prevent this tragedy, we give you the most complete information known at the moment.

basis of our risk reduction program

Our program to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome is based on the following: taking certain precautions and choosing the approach to the child,

based on attachment, parents can reduce the risk of sudden infant syndromeof death. Specifically, here are our recommendations:

1. Make yourself a good prenatal care.

2. Do not smoke near the child.

3. Put the baby to sleep on its back or side.

4. Breastfeed.

5. Do not overheat the baby during sleep.

6. Provide your child medical care.

7. Secure the place where your baby sleeps.

8. Practice approach to the child, based on affection.

9. Put the baby to sleep next to him.

Some of these recommendations may seem self-evident.The way it is.Others may seem new to you, so we will discuss every detail.But to help you understand how we arrived at these recommendations, we would like to first tell you how to grow our understanding of this syndrome.

My own acquaintance with the subject began in the first years of my pediatric practice.During examinations I would ask new parents if they are concerned about something."Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - they answered.- Why it happens »

« I do not know? "- I muttered.

Facts about sudden infant death syndrome (syndrome of sleep apnea)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as sleep apnea syndrome, or death in the crib) is defined as the sudden death of a child under the age of years, the cause of whichIt remains unexplained after a complete postmortem investigation including an autopsy, place of death and study of medical records.In the United States from sudden infant death syndrome kills about one child out of five hundred, usually between the ages of two and six months, and most often between the ages of two and four months.Ninety-five percent of cases, there is up to six months.Most often, this tragedy takes place between midnight and 6 am.The most commonly in December and January.Every year in the United States from sudden infant death syndrome killed about seven thousand children;this is the main cause of death between the ages of one month to one year.

Although most died from the syndrome of sudden infant death in children did not have any warning signs of alarm and there was no risk factors, in some children the risk of sudden infant death syndrome is higher than in others.These include:

• premature babies;

• Children who have had episodes of stopping breathing (apnea) during the first week of life;

• children whose lives have been under the overt threat (for example, has already happened respiratory arrest, where the child is pale, turned blue and went limp all);

• Children whose mothers have little or no prenatal care turned out to be;

• Children in families in difficult socio-economic conditions;

• younger brothers and baby sister, who died of sudden infant death syndrome.

should be noted that even for the children belonging to the risk group, the risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome is less than 1%.Sudden infant death syndrome is not caused by suffocation under blankets, vaccinations, or that the child choked;and it is not contagious.

cause of sudden infant death syndrome is unknown to date.There are many theories, but none of them proved.The prevailing idea of ​​sudden infant death syndrome as sleep disorders.Studies indicate that children are at risk of this syndrome are born with certain physiological characteristics.Externally, these children appear healthy and behave in the same way as any other children, but in fact these children are included in the risk group, have immature respiratory system adjustment.The depth of the brain of each person has a respiratory center, which is a high-precision control center, which is responsible for receiving signals and regulate breathing.For example, your heating system boiler has a precise control center, which should include the boiler and switch it off when the temperature rises

or falls above or below a specified level.

Likewise located in the human brain respiratory center is designed to maintain the necessary life-blood oxygen levels.When the level of oxygen in the blood drops very low or very high rises in the blood levels of carbon dioxide (which occurs when a person stops breathing, or holds his breath), respiratory center automatically turns on and stimulates respiration.This protective mechanism normally operates even when a person is in deep sleep.But in some children, for unknown reasons, the breath does not turn on automatically.In other words, some of the children who died from sudden infant death syndrome, there were violations of the mechanism of waking from sleep.

«Is there something we can do to prevent this?" - They persistently tried to find out.

«Nothing of what I knew" - I wriggle.

Every time at the end of this dialogue, I felt empty, I let the parents.Hands went down because there is no way to reduce the risk.Special shock I experienced when trying to comfort parents who have lost a child due to sudden infant death syndrome.I grieved with them over their loss and grieving over his failure to explain why it happened and what they could do to make this tragedy does not occur again.As a parent, I would like to have a list of things that could be done to protect against sudden infant death syndrome own kids.As a pediatrician, I would like to have a list that would have been confirmed by studies.And here I come to make such a list.

Over the next ten years

I studied the most confidence inspiring study of sudden infant death syndrome.Contrary to popular belief, this syndrome is not so mysterious.Quite a lot is known about this syndrome represents, and what is not.

These studies are evident two facts: it happens dream, and it happens most often in aged between two and four months. This syndrome can have different reasons, but would not it logical to assume that the majority of children, this syndrome is a fundamental violation of sleep?And why the age of two to four months?I set out to answer these questions.I found that researchers are divided into two groups, scientists and specialists who study the possible physiological characteristics of children who died from sudden infant death syndrome, and statistics, which are trying to find out the circumstances under which these tragedies occur and what are the risk factors.Although both of these approaches are needed to solve the riddle, I felt that I need another approach.I wanted to know what impact a child at risk, can have parents, especially in high-risk situations (during sleep) and in high-risk period (first six months).I wanted to fill the gap left by the researchers.

As sudden infant death syndrome, apparently, is a sleep disorder, I wondered, could the parent in most cases the mother, affect the speed of awakening your child, making changes in sleep organization.I hypothesized: Joint sleep can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

This is the first time that we have studied to test this hypothesis.About child entering the high-risk group, the monitor was set when he was asleep in his crib.When the child was about three months, an alarm due to the cessation of breathing began to be heard with increasing frequency.But when the mother took the child to her bed and lay next to him, silent alarm.When a child is again transferred to a separate place to sleep, the siren sounded again.

Nine ways to reduce your child to sudden infant death syndrome risk

Based on recent studies of sudden infant death syndrome - including our own - that the ways in which you can protect your child.

1. Make yourself a good prenatal care

do everything to ensure that your pregnancy was normal, and provide yourself a complete prenatal care.From sudden infant death syndrome, studies have shown that most often kills children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy and taking addictive substances, as well as those of women who did not get good prenatal care.Why do these situations

Does sudden infant death syndrome prevention program any results?

Of course, yes!In the southern part of New Zealand after the state educational program, advocate four methods syndrome prevention of sudden infant death (put your baby to sleep on its back or side, breastfeeding, do not overheat the baby during sleep and do not smoke during pregnancy), the incidence of the syndrome of suddeninfant deaths fell by 80%.

included in the risk factors is unknown, but most likely, this is due to a chronic lack of oxygen in these children and an increased risk of preterm birth.

2. Do not smoke near the child

Studies have shown that smoking is a major risk factor, and all researchers agree that it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.The risk is directly proportional to the child's exposure to cigarette smoke and the number of cigarettes smoked each day.Studies in New Zealand research indicates that children of smoking mothers and fathers are likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome over seven times.The mechanism of such a relationship is not yet fully understood.Probably it is a combination of many factors.In children exposed to cigarette smoke, it is much more common airway edema.Recently researchers vyvili that the children of parents in the blood of smokers there are certain chemicals which indicate that they are chronically lack of oxygen.(The effect of passive smoking on young children.)

3. Put the baby to sleep on

back or side

Common sense says that it is safer to put babies to sleep on your stomach.It based this proven

time advice on the fact that if a child srygnet or vomit, in this case, the liquid will flow from the mouth under the action of gravity, whereas if the child is lying on his back, this fluid can zatech his throat and the child breathes itin their lungs.However, new research has put this advice into question.Firstly, according to the researchers of sudden infant death syndrome, it is extremely unlikely that the child choke belch masses when sleeping on your back.In addition, in late 1980 the world wave of retrospective studies (mainly from New Zealand, Australia and the UK), which indicated that children who sleep on the abdomen, sudden infant death syndrome could threaten more than children who sleepon the back or side.Initially, these studies have not been too impressed with the scientific community, but the press has inflated these findings and bring them to the general public.Flashed fatty headers, advises parents not to put children to sleep on the stomach.And then, lo and behold, whether by coincidence or something else for whatever reason, the infant mortality rate of sudden infant death syndrome in the countries where they were published the results of these studies, has fallen by 50%.Other researchers sudden infant death syndrome were still reticent and cautious and in no hurry to forbid parents to put children on

children who need to sleep on

abdominal sure to consult your doctor to see if your child has any medical conditionsmoreover, to put him to sleep on his stomach. necessary to sleep on his stomach:

• Premature babies during their stay in the hospital;sleep on the stomach increases in premature infants breathing efficiency.

• Children suffering from gastro-pi-schevodnym reflux;these children are best put to sleep on his stomach, lifting his head to thirty degrees.

• Children with abnormally small jaw bones or other anatomical abnormalities of the respiratory tract.

stomach because, as history shows, the number of deaths from sudden infant death syndrome is always temporarily reduced after any publication, to draw attention to this issue.

Why, if to put babies to sleep on your back or on your side, it can reduce sudden infant death syndrome risk is unknown.One theory holds that the children in this case are much less likely to overheat.When children lie on the side or back, the internal organs are more open, and it is easier to give the excess heat than when the children lie on his stomach.It is also possible that when the baby is sleeping face down, he can push his head into the soft surface, which forms a pocket around his face, which accumulates carbon dioxide.As a result, the child breathes own exhaled air.I would like to reassure parents and assure them that in no case should not conclude from this that, if they put their baby to sleep on his stomach, he is sure to die.Studies indicate a statistical increasing danger.

on the back or side to put the children?One of the reasons that some authorities prefer the supine position - it is concerned that children who are put to sleep on his side, could roll onto his stomach.But in my experience, we can say that generally the children are turned to the side to the back, not on his stomach, possibly because the outstretched arm acts as a barrier and prevents them to roll over on his stomach.We found that in the first months of our children it is best to sleep on their sides.When you put your baby to sleep on her side, pull it lying at the bottom of the hand forward, so that the child was less opportunity to roll over on his stomach.

4. Breastfeed

latest research confirms what I have always suspected: children receiving breastfeeding, die from sudden infant death syndrome rarely.One study conducted in New Zealand, found that children who are bottle-fed, die from this syndrome is three times more often.Older studies conducted in the country, also indicate that children receiving breastfeeding, sudden infant death syndrome takes less.It's a good news.