Dr. Daniel Rubens, physician and researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital, has recently completed a new study that uncovers clues to solving Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of death of infants between one and twelve months.
Dr. Rubens’ earlier work indicated a connection between hearing and breathing problems. During sleep, we move ourselves into positions that restrict our breathing, but a natural survival mechanism rouses us to reposition our bodies. Dr. Rubens’ believes that SIDS babies have a hearing impairment in at least one ear, and therefore lack this mechanism.
In his original work in 2008, Rubens found many SIDS babies had hearing impairments reported on their newborn screenings. His new study shows that mice with an inner ear dysfunction have “an inability to wake up and move away from a suffocating environment.”
An anesthesiologist by trade, he was drawn to the mystery of SIDS. He has developed quite the case for his theory, and has begun planning his next step: a two-year study that tracks infants and their hearing. Remarkably, Dr. Rubens has managed to work on a miniscule budget. He’s completed all three of his studies for less than $100,000. All of the money had been privately raised, but he could use more help.
SIDS is often called “crib death.” While cribs themselves don’t cause SIDS, the baby’s sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death. Parents are encouraged to learn more about SIDS and how to prevent it.
You can combat the risk of SIDS by always placing the baby on his/her back when sleeping, as sleeping on the stomach narrows the baby’s airway. Use a firm, safety-approved surface with a fitted sheet. Keep the baby clear of blankets, toys, pillows, or bumpers while sleeping to prevent suffocating and rebreathing of C02-rich air.
Practice safe swaddling with a quality swaddle. Babies who are swaddled get more restful sleep and can awake more easily in response to distress. Don’t swaddle too tightly as this can cause dysplasia, but be sure to use a swaddle that won’t unravel so as not to cover the baby’s face.
Woombie is dedicated to providing safe sleep for babies by producing quality, eco-friendly swaddles. These safe and natural swaddles softly confine the baby, preventing face-scratching, covering of the face, and unraveling. They help babies sleep by recreating the womb’s environment.
October is SIDS Awareness Month, so remind your fellow mothers and fathers what they can do to prevent SIDS deaths.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies… and counting!
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