Positional Asphyxiation - the Silent Killer for babies

The term asphyxia arises from Ancient Greek word ?- “without” and sphyxis, “heartbeat”. Asphyxiation can be a condition of severe deficient of oxygen towards the brain and the body because of abnormal breathing. There are lots of causes for asphyxia, for example, choking. Positional asphyxiation is a postural cause (body position) that prevents them from breathing normally.

Positional Asphyxiation in newborns

At initial phase (1-4months), a baby’s head is so heavy the neck isn’t fully sufficiently strong enough yet to support it. If the head resting with his/her chin around the chest too much, the airway is kinked (put simply, blocked). It doesn’t matter which direction your baby’s head bends, it could still happen. However, it also doesn’t mean that babies above 4 months or babies that will lift their scalp, aren't at an increased risk.

Where can Positional Asphyxiation happen?

Infant carseats
Incorrectly used or ill-designed baby carriers
Crib and playpen
potentially others…

Let’s learn from Ali and Derek for your tragedy that happened in a baby carseat.

The identical can happen on strollers and swings. Just, never leave your babies unattended. It is only not worth it. Positional Asphyxiation can take a baby’s life within 2-5 minutes. The silent part is always that, often baby won't create a sound.

In playpen (baby’s playing ground) and crib, parents will want to know about their older babies who can rollover and sleep on their own stomach. The safety isn't only on fencing the little one in an expensive crib.

In reality, you can find mounting researches that some babies with lower serotonin levels not have the capability to reply to stressed situation. This may either be a congenital (developed during pregnancy) or genetics condition. It makes a baby with muscle capacity to support his own head, to fall asleep through having less oxygen and die from it. Parents just have to bear in mind if babies are sleeping on fiber-filled mattresses.

In fact, there are recommendations to utilize permeable mattress for babies to fall asleep on and, even debate on co-sleeping with parents!

Highest risk group for positional asphyxiation

Under 4 months old
Low birth-weight newborns
Hypotonia babies (low muscle)
Premature babies
Babies placed in reclined baby holding devices
You will find signs and what to avoid to stop positional asphyxiation, or sometimes related to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

“Positional asphyxiation” is a term seldom heard and to show precisely how “unknown” this problem is, the victim parent inside the video above, Ali noticed that the original report didn't include their son Shepard’s death. Spread the awareness, for this matters.
For details about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) go to see this useful web page

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