Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is the term used to explain several different causes of sudden infant death. SUIDs will not have an immediate or apparent cause of death, but after an investigation, which includes a port-mortem examination and an analysis of medical records, the cause of death will be found. SUID is umbrella term, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or, SIDS is categorized under it. SIDS differs from SUIDs because after the same investigation, the cause of death remains unidentifiable. This is a frightening factor for many parents and loved ones, but there are actions you can take to create a safer sleeping environment for your baby to reduce the risk of SUIDs.
It’s important to know the causes of SUIDs, because these are mostly preventable. For the most part, Accidental Suffocation is the reason for Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths. Accidental Suffocation can be prevented with the proper knowledge and caution, the following list explains some of these causes and how to prevent them.
Accidental Suffocation can occur when:
- An infant’s nose and/or mouth gets covered by soft bedding or pillows. Make sure that your baby’s crib is approved, and the mattress is firm. Bedding such as blankets should be fitted and tucked into the end and sides of the bed. Any blankets or sheets shouldn’t go past your baby’s armpits, pillows and stuffed animals should be removed from the crib while your baby is sleeping.
- Overlay is when another person rolls on top of the infant while they’re sleeping. This can be easily prevented. Do not sleep in the same bed as your baby. Breast feeding or comforting may be done in bed, but for sleeping it’s important to return your baby to their crib. Sleeping together on the couch or in a recliner is also a risk for overlay, so be cautious when relaxing with your baby.
- Wedging or entrapment is where an infant may be caught between two objects such as a mattress, the wall, or even furniture. To prevent this, make sure that the baby’s crib is approved. Do not purchase bumper pads, there is no evidence that they help with wedging or entrapment, and they provide an extra risk for suffocation.
- Strangulation may also occur, for example, if an infant’s head and neck get caught between crib railings. To prevent this, again, purchase an approved crib.