There's More To Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Than We Thought

Photographed by Gunnar Larson.
A new study, published online in Pediatrics today, has found that preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) isn't as simple as laying a baby on his or her back to sleep. While that remains the most surefire way doctors know of to reduce the risk, SIDS can still occur even if a baby has been tucked in correctly. Sadly, some babies may be predisposed to SIDS regardless of their sleeping positions.

The study highlights the other major factors that could increase the likelihood of a baby dying from SIDS. Some of them are wholly preventable, such as subpar prenatal care or exposure to tobacco smoke before birth. On the other hand, researchers noted that babies born prematurely or with preexisting abnormalities in their brains were at a greater risk as well.

There is good news here: Looking at larger trends over the past few decades, the study notes that infant deaths, whether due to SIDS or in general, have decreased dramatically. The research done here is a major step toward demystifying SIDS, which remains a missing link in understanding what causes babies to die so soon after birth. As we wait to learn more, doctors encourage parents to maintain a regimen of responsible prenatal care as well as safe infant sleeping conditions (babies should sleep on their backs, on a not-too-soft bed) for optimal health.

More from Wellness

On principle, I am skeptical of any internet health recommendation that has the word “challenge” tacked on to the end of it. These wellness fads come and...
As told to Amelia Harnish I never imagined I’d be a person who left college the same day I arrived. For me, venturing off to school had high stakes. ...
Halloween (prime vampire season) is coming up, so it's only natural if you've been eating more garlic lately. The only downside of all that supernatural ...
When it comes to rock climbing, an all-or-nothing approach is key
When you get pregnant, the food advice you receive tends to revolve around what you supposedly can't eat or drink: sushi, seafood, alcohol, soft cheeses...
Sexting was never my thing, and I sure as hell never thought I would even consider cybersex. I knew myself — or at least, I thought I did. I’ll get too ...
Although he had been dead for decades, Jim Morrison said something a few years ago that shocked people. He wasn’t speaking from beyond the grave, but in ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Can you boost your self-esteem just by changing the way you stand? For years, a few scientists — most recognizably one by the name of Amy Cuddy, PhD (...
Historically, women in West Africa have not had a voice. Men decide if their wife or wives can use birth control or have access to money; fathers decide if...
If you live in the Northeast of the U.S., you might want to check on the meat in your fridge. The CDC announced on Saturday that it is investigating a ...
How many times have you woken up with a disgusting hangover after a heavy night and vowed never to drink again? Well, this common plight could one day be...
Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual ...
Sometimes getting motivated to exercise can be harder than the workout itself. That’s why it helps to think of your gym time as a middle school dance: ...