Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

You've probably heard about the tragic phenomenon known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. It's still claiming the lives of about 6,000 babies each year in the United States alone.

This killer has mystified medical researchers. Now a study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in collaboration with researchers at the University of Maryland and Washington University — St. Louis, has shed light on the issue. The epidemiologist who directed the investigation, Dr. N. J. Shear, said, "We have not found a cause for SIDS, but our results show that specific items of bedding used in the U.S., such as comforters and pillows, were associated with an increased risk for death to prone sleeping infants whose faces became covered."

This means that babies should not be placed on their stomachs in soft bedding. That precaution will lessen the likelihood that they will rebreathe their own carbon dioxide that's trapped in the blankets and pillows around them. In about 30 percent of the 206 SIDS deaths in the research project, babies were found with bedding pressed against their noses and mouths. The advice now being offered by doctors is that parents place their infants on their backs, not on their stomachs, and that a minimum amount of loose bedding be kept in the crib.

This advice won't eliminate all cases of SIDS, but it could save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives every year.

Background Information

Journey of No Return
Sometimes as parents, we have a knee-jerk response to our kids as we're barraged by their numerous inquires and desires. Maybe it's time to stop being so negative.

When Not To Discipline
Parents should recognize when they should and shouldn't discipline their children.

When You Feel Like Calling in the SWAT Team
Are your children constantly testing you? This classic parenting advice will help you regain the upper hand.

Questions and Answers

After I spank my child, she usually wants to hug me and make up, but I continue to be cool to her for a few hours. Do you think that is right?

We'd like to be more unified in our approach, but how do we successfully move from two financial approaches to one?

How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished? Is there a limit?

I have never spanked my 3-year-old because I am afraid it will teach her to hit others and be a violent person. Do you think I am wrong?

It just seems barbaric to cause pain to a defenseless child. Is it healthy to spank him or her?

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