Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS)

What is SIDS?

It is a syndrome that by definition affects healthy newborns. All Babies are in increased risk for SIDS till the age of 12 months. The highest incidence is between 4. – 6. months of age. SIDS is the most common cause of death in all healthy newborns between 1. – 12. months. The cause is a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest. This happens during sleeping and most of the time it is noticed in the morning. The total incidence in North America and Europe is between 0.5 – 1/1000 live birth.

What is the cause of SIDS?

The cause of sudden infant death is unknown and cannot be pinpointed to one reason. Different theories exist why healthy newborns die of SIDS. One of which is the immature breathing regulation in the brainstem. Epidemiologic and statistic studies have found out that children whose sibling died of SIDS are at increased risk.

How can the risk be reduced?

Different studies in many countries have found out that the sleeping position and certain factors in the environment where the baby is sleeping are important in reducing the incidence of SIDS. Through the “placing babies on their back to sleep” campaign the incidence of SIDS has been reduced dramatically worldwide.

Why is a certain sleeping position important?

All newborns are at risk for sudden infant death. Applying and keeping accurate sleeping position and observing certain criteria in babysroom and babysbed will reduce the risk for SIDS.

What are the recommendation for a “good sleeping” environment?

  • Put babies on their back to sleep
  • Babies should sleep in their own bed
  • A firm and secure mattress should be used in the crib
  • Using a sleeping bag instead of a blanket
  • No hut and no pillows or teddies around the baby
  • Don’t overheat the baby with putting too much clothing when putting the baby to sleep
  • No smoking in baby’s bedroom and no carrying of the baby with smoked tinted clothes
  • Keeping the room temperature at around 19 C / 67 F

Dr. Ahmad Zia, M.D.

Kaiserdamm 97
14057 Berlin

Phone:   030 - 81 30 30 37
Fax: 030 - 55 65 31 73