Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as “SIDS,” is still the leading cause of death among infants in the U.S., according to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The good news is that the number of SIDS-related deaths, along with other deaths related to birth injuries, has decreased over the past two decades, in large part due to an awareness campaign launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The professional group of pediatricians has gone to great lengths to make sure that first-time parents understand the importance of placing their babies on their backs, not on their stomachs or their sides, while sleeping.
Moreover, parents have been taught to provide their babies with a sparse sleeping environment – meaning no blankets or toys in the crib. Beyond that, many parents who share a room with their infants now know to avoid falling asleep in the same bed as the child, so as to decrease the risk of accidentally rolling over and crushing the baby.
Although parents are increasingly aware of the dangers of SIDS and are taking steps to protect their children, SIDS remains a major cause of death for children younger than one year old, with approximately 1,500 infants dying as a result of SIDS each year.
SIDS was recently in the news as the calendar turned the page from 2015 to 2016 because New Year’s Day is a day on which the death rate for infants skyrockets. It is believed that a key factor in the surge of SIDS-related deaths on the first day of each year is the increased consumption of alcohol by parents and others who care for children.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that SIDS spikes by 33 percent on January 1. The study’s authors concluded that the increase in SIDS on New Year’s Day is possibly due to the fact that “alcohol impairs parental capacity.” With so many people, including parents, celebrating on New Year’s Eve by drinking, some children are at greater risk of being neglected or inappropriately cared for the following day. David R. Phillips, the lead author of the study, said that parents “filled up with alcohol,” or otherwise recovering from hangovers, on New Year’s Day become less competent. This can lead to infant children being put to sleep on their stomachs, a major risk factor for SIDS.
For more information on sudden infant death syndrome, check out the Yahoo.com article entitled, “Why SIDS Skyrockets on New Year’s Day.”
If your child has suffered a birth injury before, during or after the birthing process, you need to talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The qualified and compassionate lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. are prepared to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.