SIDS: We Don’t Know What It Is Yet But We Do Know This!

We do not yet know what causes SIDS

But we do know what it is not

Before you choose to share your opinion on SIDS

Please make sure you know the things that it is not

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SIDS is not when a baby suffocates or overheats

SIDS is not when a baby gets caught in a cot bumper or cord

SIDS is when no cause of death can be ascertained

It is a syndrome of exclusion

When every other reason has been discounted

SIDS is when a healthy baby dies

Suddenly and with no apparent cause

Yesterday I wrote a rambling post about SIDS

Because I was feeling emotional and angry

Because we are not handling SIDS right

Safe sleep is of course important

But you can follow all the rules and guidelines in the world

And your baby may still die

That is the cruelty of SIDS

The day you are told

That there is nothing that could have been done

Knowing that you may never know exactly why your beautiful healthy baby died

Just died

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Today a fellow parent

A father who lost a daughter

Sophia

Has written a post about SIDS that is so important

A post I wish that I had written myself

And I am honoured to be able to share with you

Please please read this

And please please share

This is what SIDS is

This

And this is why we are struggling to eradicate SIDS completely

Because we do not know what it is yet

All we know is this

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After the publication of the NICE consultation on safe sleep this week, I’ve seen a lot of confusion from internet commentators on what Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is.

Having read most of this rubbish, I feel the need to say this… to be clear, no-one I know or chat to on social media has annoyed me, but I’m always trying to raise some awareness of what SIDS is.

When a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly, the death is reported to the coroner as a Sudden Infant Death, where a postmortem is carried out.

Sometimes a cause of death comes out of this, such as suffocation, an accident, mistreatment, illness, or an underlying medical condition. This is not what Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is.

SIDS is when a medical professional and police inspector visit your house the same day your baby died to inspect where the baby lived and where it was found so that they can (quite rightly) rule out foul play or things that may give clues about why your baby died.

SIDS is when they hold a postmortem on your child and no initial cause is found.

SIDS is when they send away tissue samples from the postmortem to do further tests, and still no cause is found.

SIDS is when they produce a full postmortem report, which a specialists meets with you to discuss and explains that absolutely no cause of death was found, and as things currently stand in medicine, we don’t actually know why sometimes babies just… die.

SIDS is when your child’s death certificate comes back with simply “unascertained” written on it.

SIDS is trying to explain to people who ask what happened to your child that you have no idea what happened. At all. They were just in a place you thought was safe and in a condition that you thought was normal.

SIDS is also trying to explain to the children remaining that their sibling has died, and you have no idea why.

SIDS is looking at the children you have left and worrying whether what caused one of your children to die could happen to them. And you don’t know how to prevent it, and that no-one cleverer than you does either.

SIDS is learning that you have another child on the way, and rather than being overjoyed having niggling doubts.

SIDS is hoping that one day our knowledge of the human body advances to a state where maybe you’ll finally understand why your baby died, and even better being able to stop other people going through the same.

SIDS is not “cot death”, which is a phrase considered outdated because apparently normal babies unexpectedly die in all manner of locations, and the cause of their death is never explained.

SIDS is something that happens to other people, until it affects someone you know.

SIDS sucks, for anyone affected by it (which is more than just the parents). It’s a shame that I’ve seen so many people saying “I know someone whose baby died of SIDS after suffocating under the duvet” and similar.

Having said all of that, if you ever care for a baby in any capacity, please do ensure that your knowledge of safe sleep is refreshed and up to date so that you can reduce any risk factors and some of the ‘triggers’ that seem to increase the chances of being affected by a sudden infant death.

Quoted with permissions from http://chutzpah84.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/about-sids/

Before you choose to share your opinion on SIDS

Please make sure you know what it is

SIDS is not when a baby suffocates or overheats

SIDS is not when a baby gets caught in a cot bumper or cord

SIDS is when no cause of death can be ascertained

It is a syndrome of exclusion

When every other reason has been discounted

SIDS is when a healthy baby dies

Suddenly and with no apparent cause

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8 thoughts on “SIDS: We Don’t Know What It Is Yet But We Do Know This!

  1. A fab post Jennie, hard to write I’m sure but it will help many others understand. I admit I was clueless to SIDS 17 months ago, I’ll be sharing this post to hopefully educate anyone who’s unsure. SIDS is downright scary!
    Kelly Finn recently posted..Tia’s dictionary.My Profile

  2. Sudden infant deaths are a subset of all infant deaths and here in the British Isles it was known a century ago that air pollution, & not poverty, was causing higher rates of infant deaths.

    My wife and I have had to bury two of our four children – our only daughter would have been 29 years-old this month, but died at 14 weeks.

    http://www.tribunemagazine.org/2014/06/could-air-pollution-kill-more-than-deprivation/

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Pollution+link+with+infant+mortality+rate.-a0368985831

    http://writemark.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/something-in-air.html

    http://writemark.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/century-old-report-confirms-air.html

    http://markwrite.co.uk/Incinerator.htm

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/243962/Are-rubbish-incinerators-killing-our-children-

  3. I cry through most of your posts about Matilda. I think you are amazing for getting up each day. For functioning in any capacity. Tonight my daughter is 9 months. I knew I’d have a good long cry and think of you and Matilda. I tried sleeping in my own room, but I can’t do it, so tonight I’m sitting by her crib, thinking of you, thinking of Matilda and counting my blessings.
    I’m another one of those people who don’t know you, but have such great admiration for you. Matilda is beautiful. I’m grateful to have learned of her and her beautiful life. You and your husband are an incredible team. . We have a dolly named for her. She is in my thoughts often, as are you. Thank you for sharing your story, and for your courage.
    With love from Canada.

  4. Pingback: Sleeping with Bea #SaferSleepWeek Part 1 | Edspire

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