Doctor Announces Cause of SIDS Breakthrough
For years parents of newborn children have stood outside their babies crib in fear, listening for the telltale sound of their child breathing. SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the reason for the tragic death of 3,500 babies each year in the U.S. who inexplicably die while sleeping. For years we have suspected there must be a common cause for SIDS, but without this knowledge there was no way to look for a cure. Now that search for the cause of SIDS may finally be over.
Cause of SIDS Defined
Dr. Danielle Rubens has been searching for the cause of SIDS for the last 11 years at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. He recently announced that he feels strongly that he has found the root cause of this silent killer. It all comes down to babies who have inner ear problems that are undetected. In a healthy baby, if they have trouble breathing the inner ear tells them to shift their sleeping position to make it easier to breathe. But if that inner ear, which is responsible for our orientation to the outside world, doesn’t work properly the baby won’t shift and then can’t breathe. But with the cause of SIDS identified there is hope for a cure.
Knowledge Means Action
Knowing that a poorly functioning inner ear could lead to SIDS means more testing of babies when they are born. Dr. Rubens wants to develop a simple test that can be done on any baby within 48 hours of birth to determine if this inner ear problem exists. He is in the process of raising the money for this crucial next step. Parents can help by following a few simple rules when they bring their baby home:
- Babies need to always be placed on their backs to sleep
- Babies need a firm mattress when they sleep
- Take anything outside of the tight-fitting crib sheet out of the crib before sleep
- Limit the amount of layers your baby sleeps in to one more than you are wearing yourself
- Remove bumpers, blankets and stuffed toys from cribs when putting baby down for sleeping
These simple rules can help parents eliminate any outlining causes for their baby to have trouble breathing. When coupled with the testing that Dr. Rubens wants to develop, we may finally find a way to eliminate the cause of SIDS once and for all.