SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME: SIDS PREVENTION

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First Year of Life

The success of growth and development of all infants during their first year of life is greatly influenced the quality of prenatal care and delivery of the infant. Excellent prenatal care increases the likelihood of healthy babies being born! There are many resources available to families that list current standards and recommendations regarding infant care. Some of the resources are: American Academy of Family Practice, American Academy of Pediatrics and Mayo Clinic

Current recommendations regarding prevention of SIDS include: offering the use of a pacifier, infant nearby the parents in a shared room (but infant absolutely not in the same bed as the parents), moderate room temperative (helps prevent infant hyperthermia), safe enclosure (crib, bassinet, playyard) for sleeping in the supine (back) position on a firm mattress and breast feeding. Circumstances to AVOIDED at all times (these are associated with increased rates of SIDS deaths): infant sleeping the prone or side position, rooms that are too hot, infant sharing beds with parents or others, soft bedding including soft mattresses, exposure of infant to tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.).

The unique recommendation of this website and its personnel is to supplement the above recommendations with the SIT TO SURVIVE ™ program which is the multi-decade recommendation to always have the infant, while he/she sleeps or potentially may fall asleep, be placed into a light weight safe and secure car seat or other seating that maintains the head above the level of the abdomen (and its stomach contents) as well as optimally allows for the potential of maximally opening the small infant airways and improves oxygenation of the infant while the infant sleeps. Ideally, there will be two car seats in the family for the use by the infant. The car seat for sleeping and resting in the home will be stripped down of any potentially dangerous straps, cords, folding parts, etc to leave a simple, safe sleeping seat. The SIT TO SURVIVE ™ program is an international effort to have infants less than 12 months of age sleep in infant car seat or other safe recliners that position the infant in the reverse Trendelenburg position with the head higher than the pelvis at an angle of 45 degrees. The program may help to decrease the rate of SIDS as well as help protect infants while they ride in cars or other forms of transportation. The reverse Trendelenburg (head higher than torso and pelvis; roughly a 30 to 45 degree angle between the bedding and the pelvis/head of the sleeping infant; stomach contents below the level of the pharynx) position facilitates maximal infant airway patency and decreases the likelihood of airway obstruction or irritation by gastric contents or water because the head and upper airways are higher than the stomach in the reverse Trendelenburg position.....gravity helps keep stomach content in the stomach as well as gravity vectors do not allow infant faces covered with sheets or blankets to completely block the nose and mouth of infants!. In the supine position, the head, upper airways and stomach are all on the same level. In the opinion of the author, the BACK TO SLEEP ® program should be modified to include a more stable reverse Trendelenburg position in an infant car seat or other safe recliner.

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