SIDS on the rise
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – aka SIDS – is on the rise in Sweden. Last year 27 babies died, compared to 13 in 2007, when the level was at an all-time low after a dramatic increase to 137 babies dying in 1990. Associate Professor Miriam Katz-Salamon at Karolinska sjukhuset says a new information campaign is badly needed.
“The responsibility with the authorities is great, but we are lacking when it comes to information. The information has to be conveyed each time we meet new parents, or perhaps even before.” SIDS is a rare problem, a sudden death of an infant under year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. Death almost always occurs as the baby is sleeping. In spite of years of investigation, nobody knows for sure what causes SIDS, but by informing parents about the risks the number of deaths have decreased.
“I have seen how it decreased dramatically after intensive campaigns, now it is on the way up again,” says Katz-Salamon. “We know that the number of smoking young women is increasing dramatically, and smoking is a SIDS risk factor.” Another advice is to always make sure your baby sleeps on his back and that he is not overly warm.