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SIDS, Part 2

September 8, 2010

In my first post on SIDS, I described our reasons for doing certain things differently, and brought up some good ‘food for thought.’

I know that there are many parents out there who fall into a few categories in regards to SIDS.  I will probably miss a few, if you are one of the ones I miss, my apologies.

Categories:

It can’t happen to me/my family/my baby.

I’m sorry to inform you, but it can.  While SIDS has a higher rate in male infants, Native American and African American families, it can hit any family, any baby at any time from birth to well into the toddler age ranges. (Although after one year, it will be termed Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, not SIDS. It is in effect, the same thing.) There are the higher risk months of 4-6 months, but the risk is still high enough to have the SIDS organization tell you to keep the precautions up until at LEAST 1 year of age. Many sites recommend keeping the precautions in place for a year.

My 1,2, 3rd (etc) child died from SIDS, I’ve been told to be extra cautious about it as it means this new child will be at a higher rate of SIDS themselves.

Everything I’ve read says differently, even though I’ve been told the same thing. As there is not one single cause of SIDS 100% determined, I don’t see how the professionals can get away with this tactic. A parent is already paranoid as it is about subsequent children, adding fuel to fire does not properly educate the parent.  Any of the sites you can click here will tell you that having a child die from SIDS will not increase the risk for your next child.

My friend/family member lost their child to SIDS. What do I do now?

There are many things you can do, both for the family that lost their child, and for your family. For the family that lost a child to SIDS, it’s not contagious. They didn’t do anything to their child to ‘kill it’. They didn’t neglect their child.  There are many misconceptions out there about SIDS, and the cause.  As it is a syndrome, there is no one cause or no one cure. Be there for them, even when words fail you.  A grieving parent needs a shoulder that doesn’t demand anything in return.  Be there to help the surviving children, do simple household chores.  Walk the dogs. Simple things really, but doing them frees up the parent to grieve.  When in the depths of grief, we have no strength for things we once did.

SIDS rates are so low now, why the worry about it?

The combined rates of infant murder, illness, accidental death and more, are over shadowed by the much higher rates of SIDS. More infants die from SIDS than any other way. How much more of this do we really need to see, before more light is shown on SIDS? With so little advocacy for SIDS, it will take some time before any new insight is found.

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