Dr. Daniel Rubens of the Seattle Childrens Hospital may be onto a cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a tragic event taking approxiamtely 4,000 US infants between the ages 1-12 months. While many deaths occur when the child is sleeping in an unsafe environment, others are unexpected and unexplained circumstances.
Dr. Rubens hypotheses that SIDS could be related to an inner ear dysfunstion making it difficult for a baby to respond when having trouble breathing. “The research is based on a Rhode Island Department of Health study on infant hearing. That study found that in a test group of 31 babies who died from SIDS, all scored lower across three different sound frequencies in the right ear. Babies without the hearing malfunction survived.”
Sudden Infant Deathe Syndrome (SIDS) rates have declined since 1990, but it is still the 2nd leading cause of death in infants under a year old. Health Departments in states across the US, like the State of Rhode Island Department of Health, have set up programs to help educate and assist parents in becoming more informed about the casues and prevention of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and SIDS.
What Should You Do to Reduce the Risk of SIDS/SUID?
Always place your baby on his/her back to sleep, and make sure to place your baby in a safety-approved crib or bassinet. Do not place your baby on a couch, chair or sleep with him/her in an adult bed.
Your baby should be dressed in fitted clothing, taking care to make sure your baby does not overheat.
No bumpers, toys, or loose bedding in the sleep area. If you give your baby a pacifier, make sure it is not attached to a string.
Get regular health checkups.
Make sure your baby gets plenty of time on his/her tummy through the day to help strengthen your baby’s neck, head, and shoulder muscles.
Spread the word to everyone! Every person that watches over your baby should know the guidelines to reducing the chances of SIDS.
Ask your health care provider if you have any questions.