Every year in the United States, more than 2,300 otherwise healthy babies die suddenly and unexpectedly from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although the number of SIDS deaths in the US has fallen by over 50 percent since 1983, SIDS continues to be the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. You probably already know that stuffed toys, pillows, blankets and crib bumpers should be kept away from your sleeping baby and that you should put him to sleep on his back, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, overheating is also a SIDS risk factor. And now that temperatures are dropping and the heavier clothing and blankets are coming out, it’s an important risk factor remember. Read on to find out why overheating is a problem, and to learn what you can do to lower your baby’s risk.
The Issue With Overheating
Your motherly instinct may make you want to turn up the heat and bundle up your baby in heavy clothes, heavy blankets, and multiple layers of clothing now that it’s colder outside. However, the American SIDS Institute warns that going overboard can increase the risk of SIDS because your baby may overheat. While adults are able to regulate their own body temperatures, infants aren’t yet able to do so and they’re more sensitive to extreme temperatures.
In addition, a recent international study published in the medical journal Pediatrics concluded that 25 percent of SIDS babies were found with their head covered, which makes it even more important to be careful about the bedding in your child’s crib.
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