Recently an article appeared in the Parenting section of the New York Times entitled “What Causes SIDS”. I’ve attached the link to this article which was written by health and science freelance writer Carrie Arnold. Every parent and grandparent should read this article to have a better understanding of this phenomenon and the prevailing theories of what causes it.
Aside from the New York Times article, my own personal journey into the enigmatic world of SIDS began in the mid 1990’s. At that time in my life I was working as an Industrial Designer here in Detroit for one of the big three automakers. I’d been married for about two years and we were expecting our first child. It was during this time when a good friend of mine informed me that a family member had suffered the loss of a baby due to SIDS. This was the first time I had ever heard of SIDS but since we had a baby on the way I felt compelled to learn all that I could. Little did I know how this conversation would change the course of my life. I spent the next year or so doing research and devouring every study and report I could find on this subject. In time I started to see that SIDS wasn’t typically caused by a single event but rather a confluence of events that occurred in babies simultaneously. I began to think of it in the same manner as Dr. Nino Ramirez who was quoted in this article as calling it the “perfect storm”. I concluded that sleep surface breathability would help to address a number of the underlying factors that could potentially lead to SIDS. I designed my first breathable sleep system back in the late 1990’s for my own babies use and shortly thereafter received the first of several patents relating to this technology. I began selling my breathable sleep systems in 2010.
Getting back to the New York Times article, the author states there are several potential causes of SIDS that the scientific medical research community is currently investigating. The article goes on to state that upwards of 20% of SIDS related deaths may have been due to inherited or genetic conditions. Therefore, of the remaining 80% of SIDS deaths, I’m confident the medical community would agree that among the causes the primary one is positional asphyxiation. The other potential causes of SIDS that are described in the article, namely low serotonin levels in the brain, may be contributing factors as well. However, currently there is no way to test babies for this condition to determine which ones may be at risk. This is the conundrum of SIDS. Despite all of the medical research communities’ best efforts, Dr’s are still at a loss to provide parents with the reassurance that their baby is not a SIDS risk.
The Breathe Easy Baby sleep system which provides uninterrupted airflow for sleeping babies will indeed help to minimize the loss of that remaining 80% of babies who are dying either from positional asphyxiation or low serotonin levels. Here at Breathe Easy Baby we are doing all we can to give those babies who have died of that silent killer SIDS a voice to let parents know that there is a safer alternative.