For part 1, click here!
Well, for the better half of Jia’s first year, I was slightly obsessive over taking precautionary measures to minimize Jia’s risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that occurs during sleep, that is unexplained after investigation through an autopsy. And in 2010, according to the National Vital Statistics System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SIDS is the #3 leading cause of infant death in the United States. (Congenital malformations (deformations and chromosomal abnormalities) and short gestation/low birth weight were the first and second causes, respectively.)1 (this is the most current death data available)
A triple-risk model (how a combination of 3 contributing risk factors) for SIDS was published in an issue of Pediatrics2, and defined vulnerable infants as the following:
As you can see from the image, “genetic polymorphisms” in the “vulnerable infant” category is a harder one to really pinpoint or know unless you had extensive genetic analysis performed or knew that SIDS deaths ran in your family. Babies in the critical developmental period are those infants <1 year, and exogenous stressors are environmental/situational things that can play a role.
The Back to Sleep/Safe to Sleep Campaign3 reminds us that SIDS is:
- NOT Death by suffocation
- NOT caused by vaccines/immunizations/shots
- NOT caused by vomiting or choking
- NOT completely preventable (though measures can be taken that greatly reduce the risk)
- NOT caused by cribs
I studied maternal and child health for years and worked in public health long enough that the “Back to Sleep”/Safe to Sleep Campaign burned a permanent slogan into my head, when it came to the topic of infant sleep. After all, according to a research study by Trachtenberg, et al., the Back to Sleep Campaign, which began in 1994 by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, almost immediately and significantly reduced the number of SIDS deaths by more than 50% over the course of 10 years after its inception.2
So obviously, since the arrival of Jia, we had to be sure we were taking all measures to make sure everything was done right. Continue reading