Sudden death syndrome of a child under one year old

Apr 09, 2024 by EMPWellness Admin

This syndrome has two types:

The first type is called the sudden death syndrome of a child under one year old, and it is a condition in which the baby dies in his sleep without a clear reason. This syndrome is more likely to occur in children aged 2 to 4 months.

The second type is related to the accidental death of a child under one year of age. This accident occurs when the baby is suffocated by another factor such as toys, pillows, heavy blankets, or even parents, siblings rolling over to them while sleeping.

Although the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, it appears to be related to a defect in the part of the brain that controls breathing as well as waking up.

Despite the lack of accurate identification of the causes of this accident, some factors have been identified as risk factors that all parents should be aware of and take necessary precautions to protect babies.

One of the most important of these actions, which we will discuss further, is to put babies to sleep on their backs .


A set of physical factors and environmental factors during sleep can make the child more vulnerable to this syndrome. These factors may vary from child to child.

physical factors

The physical factors associated with the sudden death syndrome of a child under one year old are:

Brain defects: Some babies are born with problems that make them more likely to die from SIDS.

Low birth weight: Premature delivery or multiple births increase the chance of the baby’s brain not being complete; Therefore, it has less control over automatic processes such as breathing and heart rate.

Respiratory infection: Many children who die of SIDS have recently had a cold, which may have led to breathing problems and ultimately death in their sleep.

Environmental factors of sleep

A baby’s crib, the way he sleeps or the things in the crib, in addition to physical causes, can increase the likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome. for example:

Sleeping on the stomach or on the side: Sleeping in these two positions may make it difficult for the baby to breathe.

Sleeping on a soft surface: Sleeping on the stomach on a soft surface can create obstacles in the way of air entering the baby’s body.

Sleeping in a bed next to a child: Although it is better for a child under one year to sleep in the same room with parents, sleeping in the same bed with parents can increase the risk of injury.

Sleeping in excessive heat: Excessive heat during sleep can increase the risk of sudden death syndrome in children under one year old.


Other risk factors

Other factors that increase the risk of this syndrome include:

  • Gender: Boys are slightly more likely to die from SIDS.
  • Age: Children between the second and fourth months of life are most vulnerable.
  • Race: For reasons that are not yet fully understood, non-white infants are more likely to develop SIDS.
  • Family history: Babies whose siblings have died of SIDS are at higher risk.
  • Secondhand smoke: Children who live with smokers are at increased risk of SIDS.
  • Prematurity: Both premature birth and low birth weight increase the risk of SIDS in a baby.



There is no surefire way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome; But it is possible to provide safer sleeping conditions for the child by observing the following points:


Put your baby to sleep on his back (on his back) every time (both at night and for short naps).

During sleep, avoid using devices that keep the child in one position. If your child has a special health condition that requires a different sleeping position, consult with your child’s experts about safe options to meet your child’s needs. In the first months after birth, if the baby rolls over on his stomach while sleeping, gently put him on his back. This is not necessary when your baby is awake or old enough to roll over without help from both sides; Note that during infancy, even for a short time or to calm the baby’s crying, he should not be placed on his stomach.

Keep the bed or crib of the baby and the baby as quiet as possible: use a firm mattress and avoid placing the baby on thick and fluffy mattresses such as lambskin or thick quilts. Do not put pillows, fluffy toys or stuffed animals in the crib. If the child’s face is placed on them, it may disturb his breathing.

Keep your baby warm, but not too warm: Overheating increases the risk of SIDS. Check the baby’s head to determine the appropriate temperature, if it is warm, it means the ambient temperature is appropriate. A child’s hands and feet are usually a little cooler. Check the back of your baby’s neck to make sure the temperature is right, and remove a layer if he looks sweaty or flushed.

    Room temperature should be suitable for adults. To keep the baby warm at home, it is enough to use a thin blanket and there is no need to use hats and more clothes.

Tight swaddling can make it difficult for a baby to breathe and can cause him to overheat and increase the risk of SIDS. Additionally, a swaddled baby or child may end up on their stomach when they roll over and be unable to return to a safer position.

Put the child to sleep in a separate bed in your room.

  Ideally, the baby should sleep in your room for at least six months, and if possible up to a year, but alone in his crib or bed.

Adult beds are not safe for babies. The child may get stuck between the space between the mattress and the wall or different parts and suffocate. Parents may also accidentally roll over while sleeping and cover the child’s nose and mouth, which can lead to suffocation.


It is better for the baby to be breastfed: Breast milk helps protect the baby against SIDS and many childhood diseases. Breastfeeding is easier when you share a room with your baby. Also, the child sleeps near you and you can take care of him.

Use a pacifier.

  Sucking on a pacifier without a strap at bedtime may reduce the risk of SIDS.

  One tip: if you breastfeed your baby, wait until he is 3-4 weeks old and then give him a pacifier to get him used to the breastfeeding routine.

If your child is not interested in a pacifier, do not force him. Note that if the pacifier falls out of the baby’s mouth while sleeping, you should not put it back in the baby’s mouth.

Vaccinate the child on time.

There is no evidence that vaccination increases the risk of SIDS, and some evidence suggests that immunization can even help prevent SIDS.

Share this information with anyone who may care for your child. It is essential for all parents, babysitters and caregivers to know how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome while sleeping.


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