The IndUS Network e-magazine

Intriguing Infancy

Infant risk awareness.


In the United States inspite of public health efforts, infant mortality corresponds to about 25,000 infant deaths in a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infant mortality is defined as the death of an infant before the first birthday.

Captain Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP, Director, Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC says; neonatal deaths (deaths occurring between 0 and 27 days) calculates to 67% of all infant deaths and postnatal deaths (deaths occurring between 28-364 days) calculates to 33 % of infant deaths.

What causes the neonatal (newborn) deaths?

1. Preterm birth due to premature rupture of the amniotic sac (occurring before onset of labor prior to 37 weeks' gestation) contributes to one-third of all preterm births. Serious problems are encountered by the baby as well as the mother including infections, heavy bleeding, oxygen deprivation to the fetus and stillbirths.

2. Born with birth defects like neural tube defects, spina bifida, hypospadias, omphalocele, etc.,

3. Born of mothers with health conditions like being asthmatic, hypertensive, diabetic, low-birth-weight mothers, being a smoker/alcoholic etc.

4. Being at places lacking access to health care.

What causes the postnatal deaths?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

More than 4,500 apparently healthy babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. In the United States each year more than 2,300 babies die due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This happens to be the leading cause of death of babies one month to one year of age.

Most SIDS deaths happen between 2 and 4 months of age and 90 % percent of SIDS victims die before 6 months. The risk of SIDS diminishes after that age. The diagnosis of SIDS is not common after one year of age, but some babies older than one year also die suddenly and unexpectedly.

Though SIDS deaths are not preventable, there are some life-saving steps that parents and caregivers can follow to protect their baby from SIDS.

• Placing babies on their back and not on tummy or side sleep positions that are unsafe.
• Provide separate sleeping space for the baby.
• Avoid smoking during pregnancy and passive smoke, so as to keep the house, clothing, and car rid of chemicals.
• Use safety-approved crib with firm mattress that is covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet. The baby’s sleeping space must be along-side the caretaker for the first 6 months at least.
• Do not place babies on soft surfaces like chairs. quilts, sofas, or animal skins while sleeping.
• Do not use loose blankets or soft bedding items for the baby.
• Do not keep the baby’s sleeping environment too warm with clothing or room heating. Just keep the baby at comfortable warmth.
• Do not allow toddlers to sleep with an infant.
• Use a pacifier at every sleep time including nights for the first year.

Injury like burn or fall injury.

Infections like pneumonia, meningitis (bacterial infection of the brain or spinal cord).

So, protect your babies against any hazards during pregnancy or infancy.

Watch the Video: SIDS Prevention Video

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Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.