Could a Test Predict the Risk of SIDS?
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Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent SIDS entirely. But certain factors that may increase its likelihood have been identified. Taking precautions doesn't guarantee that a baby will be safe from SIDS, but they can reduce the risk.
Here are some ways you can cut the risk of SIDS:
- Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back. This is perhaps the most important step to prevent SIDS, as stomach sleeping has been found to double its likelihood. The risks increase further for babies accustomed to sleeping on their backs who are accidentally put to sleep on their stomachs.
- Avoid soft mattresses, pillows, waterbeds and beanbag furniture. Use a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib.
- Keep the baby's sleeping area clear of clutter, including stuffed toys and soft bedding.
- Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Keep your baby's environment as smoke-free as possible.
- Keep the baby's room at a comfortable temperature. Avoid overheating, as well as wrapping the baby in too many blankets or in heavy sleepwear.
- Bed sharing has not been found to protect against SIDS, according the American Academy of Pediatrics, and, under some conditions, can be hazardous to the baby's health.