The month of October has been well known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. For many years now, Breast Cancer has been alleviated, prevented and treated at early detection because of several Breast Cancer advocacies. Nonetheless, another advocacy for the month of October has not yet been that known in the country, which is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month.
As a woman, I have never been aware to this kind of advocacy not until I became a mother. I heard and have read stories of babies sleeping and never waking up, which made me more wary when my firstborn E arrived. Thanks to my mommy friends from the The Mommy Avenue who have been my online advisers and to Halo Philippines for advocating safe sleep for babies and extending such here in the Philippines.
What is SIDS?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age that cannot be explained. Accordingly, it is the leading cause of death among infants ages 1-12 months. SIDS is a type of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death: suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, infection, ingestions, metabolic diseases, cardiac arrhythmia, traumas (accidental or non-accidental) or SIDS. In the Philippines alone, there were recorded 172,483 extrapolated incidents of SIDS, making us second in the Southeast Asia Region being next to Indonesia as per The Right Diagnosis have monitored.
According to studies of the Remedy's Health Communities, SIDS risk factors include:
- Stomach or side sleeping - SIDS occur more on babies who do sleep on their stomachs. Likewise, because babies can roll over to their stomachs, babies put down on their sides also are at higher risk. Because of this, doctors place an important emphasis on back sleeping.
- Soft sleep surfaces and loose bedding - water bed, sofas, pillows, plush toys and blankets are at higher risk for SIDS and infant suffocation. Co-sleeping is a related risk factor.
- Excessive warmth - babies who sleep with many layers of clothing and those who sleep in overheated rooms are also at higher risk for SIDS.
- Smoking during pregnancy and secondhand smoke - Infants whose mothers smoke during their pregnancy are three times more likely to experience SIDS.
- Alcohol and drug use - Similar to smoking, these activities also make the baby susceptible to SIDS.
- Teenage Births - SIDS often occur in babies born to teenage mothers than in babies born to older women.