Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Way to Protect Your Infant From a SIDS Death

A fan in the room where your infant sleeps may reduce the risk that your infant dies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 72 percent a study suggested today. They may benefit from better air ventilation. That’s because infants who die from SIDS may have brain abnormalities that prevent them from gasping and waking when they don't get enough oxygen. SIDS may be caused, in part, when a baby breathes back in exhaled carbon dioxide. A fan ventilates the air and may break up the carbon dioxide that pools near the infant's nose and mouth.

"This is actually a miracle in public health, “ said Dr. De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente who led the study, yet the study was small. More research is needed according Dr. Fern Hauck, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS task force.

Results from earlier studies offered other actions that reduce the chances of SIDs death:
• Have a firm mattress an fitted sheet in the crib
• Use a pacifier at night
• Don’t use heavy blankets or turn the temperature up in the room – to keep your infant from getting too warm.
• Do not have infants sharing a crib.
• Place your baby on his or her back in bed – even for short naps (“back to sleep”)
• Do not have toys, pillows or other objects in the crib

SIDS remains the leading cause of death in babies after one month of age. The good news is that SIDs deaths have gone down as parents have adopted some of these measures. Also consider what your infant is breathing in the bedroom – and check the air in your home as it may be polluted.

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