Public Health
26.11.2010

NIH establishes measures to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

The measures include avoiding overheating of the child during sleep or nap, put the child back to sleep

Parents and caregivers can take steps to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) during the colder months, when children are most at risk, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the United States.

The measures include avoiding overheating of the child during sleep or nap, put the child back to sleep, put children to sleep on a firm mattress, keeping it away from the toys, blankets and other loose objects in the crib, and never smoke around the baby.

In cold weather, parents and caregivers often place extra blankets or clothes to keep the babies warm. But this can cause overheating in children, increasing the risk of SIDS, according to NIH.

"Parents and caregivers should dress children in light clothing for sleep and keep the rooms at a comfortable temperature for adults," said Alan E. Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "They should also know that the most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to always put babies to sleep on her back for naps and at night."

Babies are sensitive to extreme temperature changes and still can not regulate body temperature. Studies show that several layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets and a room with warm temperatures increase the risk of SIDS.

For over a decade, the NICHD and its partners, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Programs and the Association of SIDS and infant mortality, promote the Back to Sleep campaign, which advises parents and caregivers about how to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Unless there is a medical reason, children should be put back to sleep in a crib with a mattress covered by a sheet, no blankets or fluffy bedding under or over them. The blanket used shall not exceed the baby's chest. Moreover, the birthplace and sleep area should be free of pillows and stuffed toys, and room temperature should be maintained at a level that is comfortable for an adult.

Since the campaign began, the overall rate of SIDS in the United States dropped by more than 50%. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, and caused more than two thousand deaths in 2006 alone.

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Source: Isaude.net