When can I stop worrying about SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation. Babies are most at risk for SIDS is between 1 and 4 months of age and 90% of cases occur before the age of 6 months.
Fortunately, the incidence of cases classified as SIDS has fallen dramatically from 1980 to 2010 by 66% following the Back to Sleep campaign (the recommendation that all babies should sleep on their back) all over the world. After 6-months old, babies are typically able to lift their heads, roll over, or wake up more easily, and the risk of SIDS decreases dramatically.
However, 10% of SIDS happens between 6 and 12 months of age and safe sleep recommendations should be followed up to a baby first birthday. By the time a baby turns 12 months old, the risk of sudden death is negligible.
Here are recommendations for reducing the risk of SIDS:
a) Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke before or after birth.
b) Avoid falling asleep with your baby in dangerous environment (bed, chair, or sofa).
c) Place your baby in a crib with no heavy blankets, pillows, bumper pads or positioning devices.
d) Always place your baby on her back to sleep.
Also, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Guide to Safe Sleep!
About Dr. Oliviero Bruni