Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby during the first 12 months of its life.

Overview

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death of a baby during the first 12 months of its life. Risk factors include, among others, sleeping on the stomach, parents who smoke, overheating and a too soft mattress.

Causes and treatment

Causes

The causes are mostly unclear, but some risk factors have been identified:

  • Sleeping on the stomach
  • Parents who smoke
  • Child is too warm while sleeping
  • The mattress is too soft, too many soft toys (can obstruct breathing)
  • Sleeping in the same bed as the parents

Sudden infant death (cot death) is always diagnosed by a process of elimination: only when all other possible causes have been ruled out can cot death be diagnosed.

What can I do myself?

The following measures can help minimise the risk of sudden infant death:

  • Place babies on their back to sleep
  • Use a firm mattress
  • Let babies sleeping in their own bed (rather than the parents’)
  • Smoke-free environment (already during pregnancy)
  • Do not let babies get too hot
    • Bedroom temperature of 18 degrees
    • Do not use blankets that are too warm
    • Do not cover the baby's head while sleeping
    • Do not use lambskin padding etc. in the bed

Further information

SIS Schweiz (SIDS Switzerland)
www.sids.ch

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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