|The Truth About Tummy Time - A Parent's Guide To - SIDS, the back to sleep program, car seats and more||http://www.abouttummytime.com|
|SIDS vs. suffocation|
on Tuesday August 23 2011 @ 01:32PM CDT|
[ Tummy Blog ]
With the latest theory on SIDS, it is a bit difficult to determine the difference between SIDS and suffocation. For starters, SIDS is the unexplained death of an infant under a year old. This diagnosis can only be given if the cause of death is still unknown after a complete autopsy, investigation of the death scene/circumstances of death and a review of the baby’s and family’s medical history. Suffocation on the other hand is the inadequate intake of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide as in the case where the airway is obstructed or in the case of smothering.
The latest theory on SIDS, published in February 2010, indicates the possibility of babies having a maldeveloped brainstem that has less receptor binding to a chemical messenger called serotonin. What this means in layman’s terms is if the baby is not getting a good source of oxygen, whatever the reason, serotonin will sound an alarm in the baby’s brain so he or she will move to find a better source of oxygen.
It is this theory that is driving the latest trend in the talk about bumper pads. Some products are even being advertised as “may help reduce the risk of SIDS” mainly due to the fact that they allow increased air flow through the crib. The same line of thinking is true with the conversation about ceiling fans and “may reduce the risk of SIDS” because ceiling fans circulate the air in the room.
Be aware that suffocation and SIDS are not the same thing. The recommendation about not having plush items in the crib like stuffed animals and thick blankets is indicating the risk of suffocation. Even if a baby has a normal binding of serotonin, an unsafe sleeping situation is a risk for sudden death. The baby may get the alarm that the oxygen source is less than optimal, but if he or she cannot move out from underneath whatever is on top of him or her, the result could be the same.
Be safe out there!