Safe sleep is a high priority for families with young children, and the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has been the focus of public health campaigns for years.
The data on "cot death" record a peak between 2 and 4 months of age, especially in winter, to decrease after 6 months (it is exceptional in the first month of life). There are no certainties about the specific causes of the phenomenon, but over time it has been possible to establish correspondences to some situations and risk factors, determining a series of behavioral norms that have led to a significant reduction in the incidence of SIDS also in Italy. First of all, the attention when placing newborns in the supine position.
The adoption of the following simple rules has proved effective in reducing the risk of SIDS and is, for this reason, reported by the Ministry of Health as an indication of fundamental importance for new parents and all people who take care of a newborn:
- From the first days of life, the child must be put to sleep on his stomach (in the supine position) in the cradle or in the cot, preferably in the parents' bedroom;
- Sharing the bed with the parents is to be avoided;
- The mattress should be the right size for the cot/crib and not too soft. Sofas, cushions and other surfaces are also to be avoided due to the danger of falls;
- The child must be placed with his feet touching the bottom of the crib/cot , so that he cannot slip under the covers. The use of the pillow is to be avoided;
- The cradle/cot must be kept free from loose covers, cushions, padding, cuddly toys, games and any object that the child could grab, ingest, or in which he could get entangled;
- The environment must not be excessively hot, the ideal temperature is around 20 degrees , and too heavy clothes and blankets should be avoided;
- The environment must be free from fumes, therefore it is important to avoid smoking in the house and near the child (it would be good to avoid smoking in general);
- The use of a pacifier (pacifier) while sleeping is recommended in some countries as it appears to have a protective effect. Specialists recommend offering it after the first month of life (to avoid interference with the start of breastfeeding) and suspending it around one year of life (to avoid tooth development disturbances).
To learn more about the subject, we advise you to talk to your trusted pediatrician , who will help you clarify any doubts and bring these general indications into the life of your family. When searching for information on the web, we always remember the importance of consulting reliable, transparent and recognized sources of information .