Put him to sleep on his back

One of the worst experiences that can be experienced is to approach the cradle of our baby and discover that, without apparent cause, has died. Although each year between 370 and 550 deaths occur in Spain due to sudden death (of every 1,000 babies between 1 and 1.5 perish for this reason), this tragedy can be prevented and avoided in many cases, following simple recommendations from pediatricians.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexplained death of a child under one year of age, while asleep. And, although only the possibility of this happening to us is terrifying, in Spain the syndrome is the main cause of mortality in babies up to eleven months, so it is necessary that, without obsessing, we know the risk factors and methods of prevention.


According to pediatricians, the respiratory arrest that causes sudden death is caused by the immaturity of the nervous system and the control of the cardiorespiratory function of the baby: if the baby presents symptoms of choking or suffers from an apnea (more or less prolonged suspension of breathing during the dream), will not be able to activate reaction mechanisms. But nevertheless, The ultimate cause of SIDS is unknown, so, for the moment, it is impossible to prevent deaths from occurring for this reason.

Laying babies on their backs is a measure of prevention

It has been proven that in countries where awareness and information campaigns have been carried out on sudden infant death, measures such as putting children on their backs have reduced the incidence of the syndrome to 53%.


At least, the studies that have been conducted on this subject have allowed us to establish a series of factors related to the syndrome that can allow us to focus a bit on how to control this problem. For example, it is known that Maximum incidence of cases occurs from 2 to 4 months, that boys are more likely to suffer SIDS than girls, and that the syndrome is more frequent in the cold months.

Likewise, the risk increases if gastrointestinal symptoms occur in the previous week, if there is a history of a brother who died from this cause or if the baby is fed artificial milk. Also maternal factors, such as age of the mother, or environmental, such as smoking in the environment or too high an environmental temperature, they influence this serious problem.


Support in difficult times

Sometimes, and especially if preventive measures are not taken, the tragedy comes to pass and some babies die due to sudden death syndrome. In this case, it is necessary to resort to the support of professionals and people who have already gone through this difficult experience, such as the members of the Association for the Prevention of Sudden Infant Death in Madrid (APMSLM).

The association, chaired by Palmira Videgas, has 31 official members, belonging to some ten families that have already gone through this trance. Since its foundation in 1999, the APMSLM has promoted the awareness of society regarding sudden death through information campaigns directed to parents, nurseries, gynecologists, nurses, midwives and social workers.

However, Palmira Videgas laments the lack of interest of many of these professionals towards this problem. Although it does highlight the high degree of receptivity of the nurseries, Videgas assures that sudden death syndrome is "a taboo subject for society, it seems that one does not want to hear about it".

Marisol Nuevo Espín

Video: My baby rolls onto his tummy and cries. I put him on his back and he cries. What can I do?


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