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Smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

What is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS refers to the unanticipated death of an infant aged in between one month to one year and in most cases of Sudden Infant death Syndrome, it has been observed that the babies die during sleep. Regarding the prevalence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it is found that SIDS leads to the death of 2,500 infants per year in the US . Indeed a very alarming situation.

Factors Responsible For SIDS

A whole array of prenatal (before birth) as well as postnatal (after birth) factors are found to be responsible for sudden infant death syndrome. The prenatal causes include tobacco smoking, alcohol usage as well as heroine use by the mother during pregnancy and other factors such as teenage pregnancy and improper prenatal nutrition are also included in this category. Other than the prenatal factors, a couple of postnatal causes are also found to be responsible for SIDS and they are particularly, premature birth of the infant, lack of breastfeeding, overheating as well as excess clothing, stomach sleeping, exposure to passive smoking, low birth weight and several others.

Smoking: A Prominent SIDS Risk Factor

Statistics concerning Smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome make it apparent that infants born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are three times more likely to die of SIDS than the babies who are born to non-smoking mothers. Furthermore, a specific study conducted to evaluate the relationship between smoking and SIDS reveals that mothers who smoke 10 cigarettes or more on a daily basis increase the risk of succumbing to SIDS by 70 percent.

How Smoking Causes SIDS

Smoking by pregnant mother leads to the deposition of toxins in the stomach and from there on some amount of the harmful material passes on to the unborn baby and can cause a whole array of problems. Thus the baby is born with poor health faculties and gradually as his health deteriorates, he finally falls prey to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome . Further, it is also observed that infants thoroughly exposed to passive smoking are also at the risk of SIDS. The smoke exhaled by a smoker consists of many harmful chemicals and when a child comes in contact with this left out smoke, he is likely to inhale this poisonous air which might have a negative impact on his health especially when the born child is not very healthy. As a consequence his health might worsen and lead to his premature death.

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