Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What you CAN do to Prevent SIDS

Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not prevent SIDS. Smoking does not cause SIDS. While breastfeeding and keeping your baby away from second-hand smoke DOES provide a healthier baby, neither has enough impact in SIDS prevention to correlate causation. As a matter of fact, what do you tell the mom who has a breastfed baby who never got vaccinated, was never exposed to cigarette smoke, and always slept on her back, when she wants answers to why her baby died from "SIDS"?

There are a lot of things we do in our homes that jeopardize our babies' health. Normal, every day things that we don't give much thought can make or break the health of our children, and we need to take them more seriously. Here is a list of things that you need to be wary of, the first 2 relevant to SIDS prevention, the remainder relevant to babies' general health concerns.

1. Wrap your baby's mattress with a BabeSafe mattress cover. It is the only product with a 10 year track record of 100% success in SIDS prevention, even with babies sleeping on their stomachs.
2. Use only cotton underneath baby while sleeping. Avoid using waterproof padding, wool pad, sheepskin, etc. Also, do not use polyester or acrylic blankets, quilted blankets, or comforters which are often poly filled. These are not suffocation risks, but unlaundered lead to toxic nerve gases similar to the toxic gases in mattresses.
3. Do not use fabric softener on baby's clothes or bedding.
4. Do not use bleach to clean the baby's room or home environment. Use homemade or environmentally safe cleaning products.
5. Breastfeed and eat nutritiously, as well as take nutritional supplements.
6. Avoid second hand smoke and do not leave your baby with people who smoke, even if it is outside.
7. Do not leave your baby with day care centers or home providers who use mainstream cleaning products. If you have concerns but can not find anyone else to care for your baby, purchase an Airwise air purifier and insist that it remain in the room where your baby spends most of his day. (You can band together with other parents and purchase an Airwise together.)
8. If you choose formula feeding at any point, use distilled water to mix baby's formula.
9. Use safer baby soaps with fewer chemicals and fewer fragrances. Most Americans go way overboard with scents, and it is literally killing us.
10. Do your research on vaccines. Don't just read the literature from the "medical establishment." Take a really good look at the "other side." While you may still decide to vaccinate, you might find yourself selectively vaccinating or delaying some vaccines. I thought I knew everything because I only researched the "pro-vaccine" side. Don't make your decision until you have examined BOTH sides...this is VERY important.

There are generally two groups of people. Those who already know a lot of the above and follow a lot of the advice, and those who think it's all crazy. I will let you guess which group has sick children, children with asthma, children with ADHD or other behavior problems...it's typically the people who don't believe in protecting our children from "harmless" things, but will run to the doctor and fill every prescription handed over by a doctor who has had absolutely no training in anything outside of making diagnoses and writing prescriptions. Unfortunately, there is no prescription for SIDS. The only symptom is death, and it's too late to listen then, isn't it?