The deaths are usually thought to be a combination of factors. Environmental stresses Environmental stresses include exposure to tobacco smoke. Risk factors associated with cot deaths Some reasons and risk factors associated with cot deaths or SIDS include stomach sleeping, brain abnormalities and so forth. There are numerous studies that show that babies placed on their stomachs to sleep are at greater risk of SIDS than those sleeping on their backs or sides.
This could be because the stomach sleeping puts pressure on a child's jaw and interferes with normal breathing. In addition, the baby could be "rebreathing" his or her own exhaled air. This could be true particularly in a soft bed with bedding, pillows etc. There is creation of a soft space around the baby's mouth that traps exhaled air.
Since this air is poor in oxygen and rich in carbon dioxide the baby may die of lack of oxygen.
Brain abnormalities Abnormality in the arcuate nucleus, a part of the brain that may help control breathing and awakening during sleep, may contribute to SIDS. Normally if there is lack of oxygen in breathed air the baby responds by waking up and crying. This also changes the breathing and heart rate and makes up for the oxygen lack. In babies with a problem in the arcuate nucleus this reaction of waking up is lost raising risk of SIDS.
Other risk factors Babies born prematurely Low birth weight infants Age less than six months. Cribs deaths are less common in the first month after birth. Most deaths due to SIDS occur between 2 and 4 months of age.
Beyond one year the risk is low. The incidence increases during cold weather. Ethnicity - African-American infants are twice as likely and Native American infants are nearly three times more likely to die of crib death than Caucasian infants.
Getting tangled in bedding or clothing — This leads to suffocation and death of the baby. Often the parent or adult sleeping with the infant may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The baby may be suffocated by a hand or a pillow over its face.
Breathing obstruction in the baby due to a birth condition or a minor illness.
Babies who die of SIDS may also have problems regulating their heart rate, breathing and temperature in response to environmental stresses. Young mothers, mothers who have had poor pregnancy care are other risk factors for SIDS Overheating of the baby from excessive sleepwear and bedding may raise risk of SIDS.
For the first time in seven weeks. Safe sleep Your baby should sleep in the same room as you for every sleep.
Other causes of SIDS include poisoning or overdoses of drugs, heart defects, metabolic errors or diseases and infections.
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