Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
A devastating disorder, SIDS is medically known as sudden infant death syndrome. While the cause of the syndrome is unknown, several risk factors and preventative measures have been identified. One of the most important risk reduction factors is placing a baby on his or her back to sleep.
What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome can be defined as the unexplained death, typically during sleep, of a seemingly healthy infant. The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown; however, several associated factors have been identified.
Brain abnormalities, low birth weight and respiratory infection have been deemed as physical factors linked to SIDS. Sleeping on the stomach or side, sleeping on a soft surface and sleeping with the parents are known environmental risk factors. Additional contributing factors include the sex of the baby, age, race, and family history of the condition. Mothers under the age of 20 who smoke, use drugs or alcohol and have inadequate prenatal care are also more likely to have babies affected by the condition.
Prevention Measures for Crib Death
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent SIDS, several measures can be taken to protect the child and ensure a healthy infancy. Breast-feeding has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS and should be done exclusively for the first six months of life. Additionally, the baby should be placed on his or her back to sleep. A firm mattress free of thick, fluffy padding or bedding is also important. The crib should also be empty of bumper pads, pillows, fluffy toys and stuffed animals.
Clothing the baby in a sleep sack or other breathable sleep clothing and using only a lightweight blanket helps prevent the syndrome as well. Additionally, the child should sleep alone in his or her own bed not with the parents. This measure prevents suffocation. A pacifier offered at naptime and bedtime can also prevent the syndrome; however, breast-feeding mothers should wait until their babies are at least one month old and have established a comfortable nursing routine before offering a pacifier.
SIDS is an overwhelming but real condition that can put strain on a family. Effective preventative measures can be taken to avoid such a loss. Additionally, therapy and other emotional support following such a loss go a long way toward helping a family heal.
Go to http://children-allergy.com and read. Quotes study finding 2500 out of 5000 SIDS deaths related to vaccinations. Alleges Japan dramatically lowered SIDS deaths by raising (1970's) vaccination age from 2 months to 2 years.
This could give parents being charged with neglect or child abuse for not having their children vaccinated the ammunition they need if hailed into court and make the CDC and FDA pay more attention to their jobs/rules.
Below is an October 7, 2008, article from the Wall Street Journal concerning SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) that we think you'll find very informative. We have also included a letter from Joyce Duke, RN -- one of Earth Clinic's frequent contributors -- explaining her own long-held theory about the cause of SIDS.
We ask that you please forward this to as many friends and family members as possible, especially those with newborns. If we can save the life of even one infant with this information, what a blessing it will be.
STUDY SUGGESTS FAN USE CUTS SIDS RISK IN BABIES
October 7, 2008
By JENNIFER CORBETT DOOREN
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., compared 185 babies who died from SIDS in 11 California counties between May 1, 1997 and April 30, 2000, with 312 normal infants from similar socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds living in the same counties. Mothers were asked several questions about fan use, pacifier use, room location, sleep surface, the type of covers over the baby, bedding under the infant, room temperature and whether a window was open.
The study, which is being published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that using a fan cut the risk of SIDS by 72%. The use of a fan in a room with a temperature higher than 69 degrees Fahrenheit was associated with a 94% decreased risk of SIDS compared with no fan use.
SIDS, or a sudden and unexplained death of a baby younger than one year old, kills about 2,500 infants annually and is the leading cause of death in that age group. While the cause of SIDS is unknown, one theory is that babies re-breathe exhaled carbon dioxide trapped near their airways from bedding or sleeping on their stomachs.
Since the mid-1990s it's been recommended that infants be placed on their backs to sleep rather than their stomachs. That recommendation, along with others such as sleeping on a firm mattress and avoiding soft bedding, was linked to a more than 50% decline in SIDS deaths from 1992 to 2003.
The lead researcher in the latest study, De-Kun Li, explained that fan use increases air movement in a baby's bedroom that could protect babies from re-breathing carbon dioxide.
"If parents want to take an extra measure, they should consider using a fan," he said. Dr. Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist, stressed that using a fan isn't a substitute for placing babies on their backs to sleep.
Marian Willinger, Special Assistant for SIDS Research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said the findings on fan use were interesting but need to be replicated.
"It cannot be emphasized strongly enough, however, that there is no substitute for the most effective means known to reduce the risk of SIDS: always placing infants for sleep on their backs," Dr. Willinger said in a statement.
Since 2005, it's also been recommended that infants use a pacifier. In 2005, Dr. Li released research from the same group of women used in the fan study, showing use of a pacifier cut the risk of SIDS by 90%. That finding helped back up recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on adding pacifiers to the list of recommendations to cut SIDS risks.
The new study also looked at whether windows were open or closed. Babies who slept with an open window were less likely to die from SIDS compared to babies who slept with a closed window, but the finding wasn't considered statistically significant. The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and Kaiser Permanente.
Write to Jennifer Corbett Dooren at firstname.lastname@example.org
The parents of these SIDS babies stated that they showed no signs of illness prior to their death.
Most of these babies were sleeping on their stomachs at the time of death.
The first thing that started me toward my theory was when I read about a doctor being awakened one night and going to check on his baby to find it not breathing and was aware of an ammonia odor in the baby's room. He hastily picked up the baby and held him in an open window to revive him. Mention was not made of whether or not he used chest compressions or other measures beyond the fresh air. While reading this I remembered many times that I was aware of a heavy ammonia odor when changing the early morning diapers on my own babies. They never had it while awake and their diapers were being changed often.
At this point I remembered reading about a wife found dead in her bathroom who apparently died while cleaning it. After an autopsy failed to find the cause of her death, the theory emerged that she was using both bleach and ammonia in cleaning the bathroom; when combined these two chemicals form a deadly gas that caused her death, leading to the warning to never mix bleach and ammonia together.
One question has never been answered for me, but the latest information on SIDS deaths being reduced further by the use of a fan makes me wonder even more, if my simple theory is correct.
Were the parents of these children ever asked, or did any of the autopsy reports ever address what these SIDS babies were wearing when they died? My theory hinges on the kind of diaper these children were wearing. If they were wearing a cloth diaper, which has again become very popular and would have been laundered (by the mother or diaper service), was bleach used in the laundering of them? Another question that I have never seen published is: Were they wearing a plastic panty over the diaper at their death?
Stale urine often does develop a strong ammonia odor. A baby wearing a cloth diaper laundered with bleach, under plastic panties, sleeping on its stomach would be in a position that would tunnel any gas formed (from ammonia in the urine & bleach in the diapers) and escaping at the waist right into its nose. I don't think it would take as much gas to overwhelm a baby as it did the woman cleaning her bathroom. A fan would keep the air moving and dilute the gas thereby preventing the death. An open window would increase air circulation and dilute the gas also.
At least one reader I am sure remembers exactly what her infant was wearing at the time of the child's SIDS death. If you are reading this and can answer my questions above, please write to me. I would welcome any and all replies from mothers and fathers of SIDS babies. Only you can answer my questions and prevent future SIDS deaths.
Please start warning new mothers of the danger while waiting for the answer if the above conditions were present when your little one died."
Joyce S. Duke, RN
Contact Email: jsduke33(at)gmail.com
Replied by Ted
Replied by R.D.
Replied by Sue
Australia (but living in Dubai)
Replied by Nicole
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Replied by Sherri
Another possible cause for Sudden Infant Death is a vitamin B1 deficiency due to high metabolism in the baby's brain which can generate high lactate level. As a result, B1 thiamine controls metabolism and could help reduce Sudden Infant Death.
I have read that SIDS is linked to a specific household mold that interacts with the fire retardant material in crib mattreses causing a toxic vapour. When the child is placed face down they will inhale this vapour and possible death is the result.I actually read the actual toxic gas that was produced and the chemical reaction with the mold but can't remember where i saw it . seems to me it is better documented in the U.K. Using a non porous plastic matress cover as a vapour barried is recommended.
There are actually three major issues that cause SIDS.
2. Vitamin C Deficiency
3. Magnesium-Potassium Connection
Here are the highlights:
SIDS - AS RELATED VACCINATIONS
(the following information is from http://www.the7thfire.com/HN/SIDS.html) :
"Sudden infant death syndrome has been reported following administration of vaccines containing Diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, and pertussis vaccine. However, the significance of these reports is not clear. One common factor is the age where primary immunization was done between the age of 2 to 6 months, a period where most sudden infant death syndromes are found to 1occur with a peak incidence being at 2 to 4 months."
There was no toxicology testing performed and the pediatrician never filed an adverse vaccine reaction report with health authorities. I later learned that most vaccine-induced deaths in this country are listed as SIDS and SIDS statistics are NOT included in vaccine adverse reaction data, even if a child dies only a few hours after receiving inoculation. This data is presented to physicians and the public to reassure them that vaccines are safe.
Dear PROVE Members:
I am forwarding this as a tribute to baby Laura and all the other children who have been injured or killed by a vaccine so that parents can learn another side to the vaccine story.
When I was almost 8 months pregnant with one of my daughters, I had volunteered to go to the Travis County Morgue with Karin Schumacher who, for years before she went to Law School, ran the NVIC news-list. Karin asked me to help her go through autopsy reports of infants listed as SIDS deaths and look at vaccination information. I will never forget the experience. We sat there in this basement buried in infant autopsy reports as my own baby kicked and turned inside of me. Here were two of our observations:
1. A highly disproportionate amount of SIDS deaths clustered at 2, 4, and 6 months -- which are the very times infants are vaccinated. If vaccines had nothing to do with these, the numbers should have been randomly spread throughout the first 6 months of life. Not so. I challenge the naysayers to go to any morgue in the country and to be honest and see what I'm talking about.
2. It was shocking at how rare it was for the vaccine information to be recorded and how little investigating into the cause of death of these babies was actually done. It floored me that the when the vaccine information was even mentioned, it was often so incomplete. Medical examiners routinely missed asking for this indispensable information and failed to note the correlation of the date when the child died to even raise the question.
One of the things that struck me when reading Christine's story is that here we are 16 years later and so many doctors are still downplaying and denying the risks of vaccines and healthy babies are still dying after being vaccinated. One of the most offensive things that Senator Frist has in his vaccine bill which shields the drug companies from all liability when a vaccine injures or kills someone is that he is proposing that the federal government increase the amount of money that a parent receives from the government compensation program when their child is killed by a vaccine. Parents are not willing to be bought off with this blood money.
2. From the Vitamin C connection:
Eradicate Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Now!
SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - is a tragic way for infants to die. The medical establishment seems to have no idea what causes it. Apparently healthy infants just suddenly die in their sleep, with no apparent warning. Two out of every thousand live-born infants die of this syndrome.
Cause Unknown or Cause Ignored?
But is the cause really unknown, or has it been ignored and marginalized? In the 1970s, an Australian doctor named Archie Kalokerinos volunteered to serve the aboriginal people in the opal mining region of Australia. He found that an astonishing 50% of infants were dying from SIDS and other illnesses. He noted that the people and their infants were almost completely deficient of vitamin C in their diet, and began a supplementation program. Before long the infant mortality rate had dropped to near zero, and no child subsequently died of SIDS. In 1978, Dr. Irwin Stone, one of the doctors who pioneered research in vitamin C, reported this in a paper presented at the Conference On Controversies In Human And Clinical Nutrition that SIDS was in fact a result of what he called Chronic Subclinical Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency):
"The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Crib Death, has been shown by the Australian workers, A. Kalokerinos and G. Dettman, to be a manifestation of infantile scurvy, due to the fact that all infants, born of mothers who depended solely on their diet as their only source of ascorbate, are born with the CSS Syndrome after nine months of intrauterine scurvy (Stone. 1978). SIDS can be prevented by increasing the infant%uFFFDs intake of ascorbate (Cook, 1978). This has been known and published since 1974 (Kalokerinos, 1974)." (Irwin Stone, Eight Decades of Scurvy - The Case History of a Misleading Dietary Hypothesis, 1978).
Dr. Kalokerinos wrote about his experience in his first book "Every Second Child," and with the help of other physicians organized a national tour of the U.S. with the other physician who worked with him on vitamin C and SIDS, Dr. Glen Dettman.. But the medical profession here and the NIH marginalized and ignored his work.
Fast-forward to 2004. Here we are, thirty years after two courageous doctors found the root cause - and cure - for SIDS. Tens of thousands of infants have died unnecessarily, and more infant deaths seem inevitable. These are tragic deaths that were and are totally preventable. But doctors all over the world are still looking for an elusive cause, there are hundreds of SIDS research sites and support networks, and no one is talking about the vitamin C connection or doing anything about it except for a few doctors who have been using large-dose vitamin C for years such as Robert Cathcart of Los Altos, California. The medical establishment just refuses to believe that this syndrome could be caused by a simple nutrient deficiency.
Large Amounts of Vitamin C Essential for Health
Vitamin C - an essential nutrient more accurately called ascorbate - is needed by the human body in large quantities for literally dozens of metabolic processes, from tissue repair to recycling of cholesterol to neutralization of free radicals and toxins to the building of antibodies and white blood cells. Most animals - other than humans, primates, guinea pigs, and a couple of rare animals - produce their own vitamin C in large amounts from glucose (a simple sugar found in blood), either in their liver (mammals) or their kidneys (reptiles).
The optimum dose for all of these metabolic processes is about 200-1000 mg per 10 lbs of body weight, depending on the level of stress, activity, environmental toxins, and general health. We "use up" vitamin C faster if we work in a stressful job, exercise heavily, are exposed to toxins, or if we are ill.
If we do not ingest any vitamin C, we get scurvy; we need vitamin C to repair normal microscopic wear and tear of the walls of our arteries, and when they cannot be repaired, they hemorrhage. We literally bleed to death internally.
But what happens if we get some, but not enough? The "Recommended Daily Allowance" of vitamin C is a small fraction of the amount we - and infants - really need. Many metabolic processes will be compromised, but the outward signs won't be obvious. Artery wall repair will happen more slowly, and the human body compensates for this deficiency with a sticky plaque called lipoprotein(a) - the root cause of cardiovascular disease. Antibodies and white blood cells will be built incorrectly or not at all. Cholesterol, needed for nutrient transport, will not be recycled properly.
For infants, this is deadly. Their little bodies have very little reserves to draw upon. Without sufficient vitamin C, their immune systems and arteries are fragile. A single stressful event, a minor fall, a vaccination, a toxic exposure, or a simple virus or bacterial illness could tip the balance and kill them. Metabolic failure, heart failure, toxic trauma to vital organs, hemorrhage - it could happen dozens of ways. Sudden death, with no warning. SIDS.
We Can Eradicate SIDS
It's now time to eradicate this syndrome once and for all. It is time to supplement every child's diet with a minimum of 200 mg of vitamin C per day for each 10 lbs of body weight, and more - up to 1000 mg per day for each 10 lbs of body weight - for children who are ill or whose immune systems are compromised. For example, you would give a newborn infant (7-10 lbs) a minimum of about 150-200 mg per day.
If a child is ill or stressed, his or her body uses far more than that. It is easy to find out how much vitamin C a child really needs - too much causes a non-harmful, temporary diarrhea, and you just reduce the dosage until the diarrhea subsides. This is called the "bowel tolerance dose" by Dr. Robert Cathcart, who has been treating his patients with large-dosage vitamin C for more than twenty-five years.
Vitamin C that is usable for children is available in liquid form (such as Child-Life Vitamin C liquid) from many health food stores or online. Do not use varieties sweetened with honey or containing a lot of ingredients. Spread out the daily dose in three divided doses. Measure it carefully and mix it with orange juice to give it to your child.
Pregnant mothers need to take vitamin C to provide enough to their babies in the womb, using the same formula of 200 mg per 10 lbs of body weight, or about 3000-4000 mg per day, in divided doses, for an adult of typical weight. You should take much more - up to your "bowel tolerance dose" - if you are ill or under stress. Vitamin C deficiency during gestation can profoundly affect the normal development of the child.
Here's how to do the calculation: take your body weight or the weight of your child, divide by 10, and then multiply by 200 mg to get the minimum dose of vitamin C. So for a child who weighs 20 lbs, you divide 20 by 10, result 2, then multiply by 200, result 400 mg per day minimum dose. For an adult who weighs 150 lbs, divide by 10, result 15, then multiply by 200, result 3000 mg per day minimum dose.
For vaccinations: In general, I recommend that parents not vaccinate their children, and certainly never vaccinate against hepatitis B, which is extremely rare. Vaccines contain both live (but "attenuated") viruses and a brew of toxic chemicals and preservatives, sometimes including mercury (thimerosal). This places a huge burden on the child's immune system, and quickly depletes vitamin C. Many SIDS victims have died shortly after vaccinations. If you decide to vaccinate your child, increase the vitamin C dose dramatically several hours before and for several days after the vaccination to prevent vitamin C depletion and so that the child's immune and detoxification systems will have a chance to kill the viruses and neutralize the toxins.
Is Vitamin C safe in these doses?
Vitamin C is safe in literally any amounts. As mentioned above, it is an essential nutrient needed in large quantities for dozens of metabolic processes. Many people, including this author, have taken very large doses of vitamin C for many years without any side effects, and live healthier lives as a result. 100,000 mg to 300,000 mg amounts have been given intravenously to people who are very ill with AIDS and other illnesses, with no adverse effects. It does not cause kidney stones, heart disease, or cancer; as a matter of fact, it prevents them. The pharmaceutical industry and its allies have gotten the media to spread false warnings about large-dose vitamin C to the media, and the refutations by prominent researchers and clinicians are never printed.
3. From the Magnesium-Potassium connection:
Click on the above link to read the article entitled,
"Magnesium and thermoregulation. I. Newborn and infant. Is sudden infant death syndrome a magnesium-dependent disease of the transition from chemical to physical thermoregulation?
In: Magnes Res 1991 Sep-Dec;4(3-4):137-52"
On this website, by the way, you will find magnesium to be the single most important mineral - yes more important than Calcium - if you have a strong background on zeta potentials and relationship to cardiovascular diseases. This is old information for me - I've known it for 20 years; as you age your blood calcium goes up. It's everywhere in your body and becomes calcified. Ideally, you need a blood magnesium/calcium similar to that of a 21 year old.)
Additional Notes from Ted on SIDS
"Do not think that SIDS can only happen to infants. Construction workers working in foreign countries die regularly while sleeping and we are talking about people whose age is 20-25 years old. The problem from autopsies (information is withheld by government - but I managed to find out anyway) is the low blood magnesium and potassium. Bicarbonate levels were way below normal. So if someone who is of old age who dies in her sleep, this is not natural death either."
"Another reason why SIDS are alarmingly high has to do with the increasing Vitamin D deficiency. It has become exceedingly common that mothers are vitamin D deficient. Besides the lack of vitamin C, selenium and the need for N-Acetyl-Cystiene (which is an antioxidant which helps) survival from mercury
poisoning if the child is vaccinated. The minimum amount of vitamin D for mother to have enough vitamin D to feed her child means she needs to supplement with
at least 1,500 I.U. of vitamin D per day. Usually most vitamin D supplements are now 400 I.U. and is woefully inadequate.
There is some statistics to back up why vitamin D may also caused SIDS. One reason why northern climates are higher in SIDS is the lack of vitamin D from lack of sun exposure. The darker your skin in colder climates the more you are deficient in vitamin D.
Here is some information:
African-American Infants Dying from SIDS at Alarming
In a startling new study, researchers have found that rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are almost double among African-Americans, compared to other ethnicities, and are linked to the baby's sleeping position.
The American SIDS Institute defines SIDS as " ... the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant, whose death remains unexplained after the performance of an adequate postmortem investigation including autopsy, investigation of the scene and circumstances of the death and exploration of the medical history of the infant and family."
SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1 year old, and most SIDS deaths occur in the fall, winter and early spring months in the US. SIDS deaths peak during 2 months and 4 months of age. The amount of deaths from SIDS in the African-American community was found to be significantly larger than other ethnic groups in this study. The study is the largest to date on SIDS, sleep position and other factors related to infant mortality.
The researchers studied over 250 infants up to 1 year old who died of SIDS between November 1993 and April 1996. The infants were compared with an equal number of healthy babies matched by race, age and birth weight. About one third of the SIDS deaths were linked to prone sleeping, and about three quarters of the infants in the study who died of SIDS were African-American.
James J. McKenna, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Mother Baby Behavioral Sleep Center University of Notre Dame says in a response on the American SIDS Institute's website: "Across all sleep environments, the baby should be placed on his/her back for sleep. Duvets should be avoided, as should any blanket that could flip over the baby's head. No sleep environment is risk free, nor can any sleep environment guarantee that an infant will not die from
In a press release posted on the American Academy of Pediatrics website, they note: "In a 1992 policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced the idea of placing infants on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS. In 1994, the US Public Health Service, the AAP, the SIDS Alliance and
the Association of SIDS Infant Mortality Programs launched the "Back to Sleep" campaign to promote infant back sleeping to parents, family members, child
care providers, health professionals, and all other caregivers of infants. The campaign has succeeded in reducing SIDS rates by 50 percent since its
The "Back to Sleep" campaign is the latest effort to educate American parents about the importance of placing children on their backs. They have special campaigns directed towards African-American parents to address this increased risk.
The CDC advises these methods to reduce the risk of SIDS: Being sure your baby sleeps on their back on a firm surface; babies should not sleep on their stomachs. Abstaining from smoking, drinking, or using drugs during pregnancy and after birth. Avoiding putting quilts, comforters, sheepskin or any soft material in the crib or on the sleeping surface. Don't allow your baby to get too warm; the temperature in your baby's room should feel comfortable for an
adult. Breastfeed your baby as long as possible.
Pediatrics October 2002;110:772-780
American Academy of Pediatrics October 7, 2002
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
SIDS is likely related to an "immaturity" of the CNS -- both brain and cardiovascular. Optimized nutrition in the mother during pregnancy and after is an essential element of prevention. All nutrients, including omega-3 and vitamin D, are important for full fetal and infant development.
A study earlier this year suggested that it appears infants without the full complement of brain neurons due to inadequate nutrition are at risk for SIDS
because they are unable to develop appropriate heart and lung control during a crucial developmental period.
While sleeping position may be an issue as discussed above, there are clearly other factors such as the type of mattress and vaccines, as reviewed in the
The clear and quite obvious difference that could easily account for the SIDS observation in the study above is the skin color. The dark pigments in most
African Americans serve as a very effective filter for UVB from the sun and limits their ability to convert enough vitamin D in their systems.
This is another reason why we should all consider vitamin D supplementation in the winter. Cod liver oil is probably one of the best sources...