Cot Death – Causes and Risk Factors of Cot Death
When a baby dies suddenly without any specific reason, then it is referred to as cot death. This is also called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This occurs during sleep and is an unexplained and unexpected death.The parents are devastated and shocked as there is no warning and no definite cause, but occurs suddenly. There are some measures that can be taken to help protect your child from sudden infant death syndrome and the best thing is to place your baby on his/her back to sleep.
The exact reason for this death still remains elusive, but researchers believe that multiple factors are involved for example some infants have some sort of biological vulnerability like a defect in the heart and brain, along with an environmental stressor, like sleeping on the stomach.The mother’s health and behavior can also play a major role during pregnancy. Therefore, the three factors that are known as the triple risk model includes:
- Critical developmental period
- Vulnerability and
- Outside stress.
When these are combined with the first six months of an infants life, this results in the triple-risk model.
The exact reason for cot death is not known, but researchers have identified several factors that can increase a baby’s risk.The high risk babies include:
- Male: Boy babies are more prone to die of SIDS.
- Age: Infants during the second and third months of life are more vulnerable for this syndrome.
- Premature Baby: If a baby is born prematurely or has a low birth weight can be more susceptible to this syndrome.
- Race: Black, American Indian or Native Alaskans are found to have this syndrome.
- Mothers who Smoke: Smoking cigarettes during or after pregnancy can put the baby to a greater risk.
- Exposure to environmental smoke: Infants when they get exposed to second hand smoke have a higher risk of SIDS.
- Born during Winter: SIDS cases are seen mostly when the weather is cooler.
- Upper Respiratory Infection: When a baby gets infected, within four weeks, SIDS occur.
Other Risk Factors
Some Of the other risk factors include:
- History of urinary tract infection
- First pregnancy younger than 20 years of age
- Low weight gain during pregnancy
- Placental abnormalities
- Inadequate prenatal care
There are no warning signs associated with this disorder. The only thing we can do is to prevent this syndrome.