What're the risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome?
The risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome may include problems with sleep arousal or an inability to sense a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. Almost all sudden infant death syndrome deaths occur without any warning or
symptoms when the infant is thought to be sleeping.
Sudden infant death syndrome is most likely to occur between 2 and 4 months of age, and 90% occur by 6 months of age. It occurs more often in winter months, with the peak in January. There is also a greater incidence in Native Americans and African-Americans.
The following factors increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome:Babies who sleep on their stomachs
Babies who have soft bedding in the crib
Multiple birth babies
Babies with a sibling who had sudden infant death syndrome
Mothers who smoke or use illegal drugs
Short intervals between pregnancies
Late or no prenatal care
Situations of poverty
Smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, or drug use during pregnancy
Poor prenatal care
Premature or low-birth weight
Mothers younger than 20
Smoke exposure following birth
Sleeping on stomach
Boys are affected more than girls. While studies show that babies with these risk factors are more likely to be affected, the impact or importance of each factor is not well-defined or understood.