Overheating: A SIDS Risk Factor

A hot baby is an unhappy baby, resulting in poor sleep, excessive sweating and a possible heat rash. Even more importantly however, overheating is a known sleep environment factor that can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

As the winter months approach, understanding the serious risk factor of overheating is especially important. Studies have shown that babies are at higher risk for SIDS during the winter. Parents worried about a cold newborn may turn the heat up too high, overdress their child, or be tempted to use extra bedding – all risk factors for SIDS.

“Parents and caregivers should dress infants in light clothing for sleep and keep rooms at a temperature comfortable for adults,” said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., director of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “They should also know that the single most effective way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to always place infants to sleep on their backs, for naps and at night.”

Another important factor to overheating is heat dissipation. Babies are more sensitive to extreme temperatures than adults and are unable to regulate their body temperatures as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics argues that the revolutionary air-permeable mesh sleep surface of the Breathe Easy Baby crib mattress “could be potentially protective against overheating, which has been identified as a risk factor for SIDS.”

The AAP also referred to a study on “Aeration properties of a new sleeping surface for infants” and concluded that the study “found the measured temperature within the head box to be substantially lower with the more permeable mattress, concluding that it was due to faster heat dissipation.”

This winter remember to maintain a safe sleep environment for your baby:

  • Dress your baby in light clothing
  • Keep rooms at a temperature comfortable for adults
  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep
  • And use the Breathe Easy Baby Crib Mattress to help protect your child from overheating
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