Positional Asphyxiation - the Silent Killer for babies

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

Positional Asphyxiation in newborns

At early on (1-4months), a baby’s head is indeed heavy how the neck isn’t fully strong enough yet to support it. When the head resting with his/her chin on the chest too much, the airway is kinked (quite simply, blocked). It doesn’t matter which direction your baby’s head bends, it can still happen. However, additionally, it doesn’t signify babies above 4 months or babies that will lift their scalp, usually are not at an increased risk.

Where can Positional Asphyxiation happen?

Infant car seats
Incorrectly used or ill-designed baby carriers
Baby crib and playpen
potentially others…

Let’s study on Ali and Derek for that tragedy that happened in a baby child car seat.

The same sometimes happens on strollers and swings. Just, never leave your babies unattended. It's just not worthwhile. Positional Asphyxiation can take a baby’s life after as little as 2-5 minutes. The silent part is that, often baby will not produce a sound.

In playpen (baby’s playing ground) and crib, parents may wish to know about their older babies who can roll over and sleep on their own stomach. The protection isn't just on fencing the child in an expensive crib.

In fact, there are mounting researches that some babies with lower serotonin levels not have the ability to react to stressed situation. This could be either a congenital (developed in pregnancy) or genetics condition. It can make even a baby with muscle capacity to support his own head, to rest through having less oxygen and die from this. Parents just have to be aware if babies are resting on fiber-filled mattresses.

In fact, you can find 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 put into reclined baby holding devices
You can find signs and what to avoid to stop positional asphyxiation, or sometimes related to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

“Positional asphyxiation” is a term rarely heard and also to show precisely how “unknown” this issue is, the victim parent in the video above, Ali pointed out that the original report failed to include their son Shepard’s death. Spread the awareness, for this matters.
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