What Cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

Sudden Infant Death SyndromeYou can observe sudden infant death syndrome roughly 50 per 100,000 births in the US.

Approximately 20-25 percent of infant deaths younger than 1 year are found in SIDS.

It is the most frightening, mystifying and heartbreaking thing that can happen with a newborn.

Sudden infant death syndrome is a medical term that is defined as a baby dies suddenly in the first year of life from no evident cause.

Main causes of sudden infant death syndrome:

The majority of the SIDS deaths occur in between the ages of 2-4 months. The causes of SIDS still are not known. Some of the causes are:

  • Stress in a normal baby due to the infection or other factors.
  • It can be a birth defect or hereditary cause
  • A critical period when your baby is especially weak
  • Failure in development of a child
  • Dehydration from diarrhea.
  • At present the most common cause is pneumonia
  • Putting infants to bed on their stomachs
  • Abnormalities in the brain cannot prevent problem like breathing, blood pressure and arousal and leads to the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Factors associated with increased probability of the sudden infant death syndrome:

Prenatal risks:

  • Lack of enough prenatal care
  • Lack of prenatal nutrition
  • Use of heroin
  • Pregnancy in early ages
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Illegal drug use by mother before baby birth
  • Adequate alcohol abuse
  • Successive births within a year

Post-natal risks:

  • Babies who are not getting breast milk
  • Excess clothing and overheating
  • Premature birth of a baby
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Excess bedding, smooth sleep surfaces and stuffed toys
  • Babies with underweight
  • Sexual characteristics, most of the SIDS cases occur in male
  • Body chemical imbalance
  • Infant has or had a recent infection
  • Environmental factors like temperature

Sudden infant death syndrome appears to result from a combination of various factors including breathing problems, underdevelopment of baby’s cardio-respiratory control functions, dangerous sleeping habits, and various medical conditions. The respiratory control center in the brain is affected by abnormal changes in the temperature. Overheating may interrupt the normal neurological control of sleep and breathing.

Babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were born with smaller airways. This causes susceptible breathing problems after birth. These breathing problems can cause your baby at a high risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Mothers who smoke are at an increased risk of having a stillbirth, miscarriage or premature infant.

Smoking during pregnancy will lower the amount oxygen available to you and your growing baby and also it increases your baby’s heart rate. These health factors also cause increased SIDS risk for your infant. Hence there will be decreased ability to breathe correctly.

Babies born to mothers who smoke are considerably lighter and shorter when compared to non smokers. Infants who are exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to suffer from respiratory illness and infections. This diseases lead to decrease in quality of nighttime sleep for your baby.

The more cigarettes you or your baby caregiver smokes per day, the greater your baby’s chances of developing SIDS and other health problems.

To decrease the number of deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome these problems should be avoided.


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