From the moment your son or daughter is born, you follow every precaution to make sure your baby is protected. Whenever she sniffles, you panic—and either call your mom or consult webMD, to see if sniffling is normal. You keep your best friend (who had a cold two weeks ago) away from your house in case he is still contagious.
But there are some events that you cannot predict or prepare for, no matter what you do. The absolute worst scenario that every parent fears is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS is not only the leading cause of infant deaths, but it’s also terrifyingly mysterious. There are several theories on what causes SIDS, ranging from suffocation to spinal cord injuries to birth defects. The only things that can be agreed upon is that SIDS occurs while sleeping and it affects breathing.
Symptoms of SIDS
Since the cause is still uncertain, preventative actions are limited. The only thing you can do is decrease the possibility of suffocation by removing excess material from the crib and sleeping areas, and by watching out for symptoms of breathing or spinal cord problems. These symptoms include:
- Back or neck sensitivity
- Shallow breathing
- Constant coughing
- Apnea (long Pauses in breathing)
These symptoms should never be taken lightly when it comes to an infant. If your child shows signs of any sort of labored breathing or back pain, contact your pediatrician immediately. Ignoring the signs could result in:
- Brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Lung problems
- Serious severe spinal cord immobility
Don’t let the warning signs go unnoticed. Proper medical precautions, attention to symptoms, and a quick medical response can make the difference between a tragedy and saving your child’s life.
Did you find this article informative? Do you know other parents with infant children? Shevlin Smith encourages you to share this information to help further SIDS awareness.