Nearly 4,000 unexpected and unexplained infant deaths occur in the United States every year and 10-12% deaths are due to Long QT Syndrome. QT syndrome is when the hearts electrical system is disturb by abnormities of the microscopic pores (protein) in the heart cells. The symptoms of QT syndrome are cardiac rest, fainting and family history.
SADS Foundation list five treatment options for QT Syndrome, medication, beta blockers, ICD, AED, and Left Cardiac Sympathectomy Denervation (LCSD) and avoid drugs that can prolong the QT interval.
While treatment options are available, Hindi Zeidman, creator of The Ollie Swaddle offers suggests for parents to keep baby safe and comfortable while sleeping.
- When room sharing, it is best for your infant to sleep in a separate sleeping area to avoid the risks of rolling over or suffocation, which can occur with bed sharing.
- The supine (or laying on the back) is the safest sleep position for your infant, unless otherwise directed by your infant’s pediatrician. Unaccustomed tummy sleeping increases the risk of SIDS by 18 times over babies under 12 months old who are used to sleeping on their backs.
- Your infants sleeping area should be clutter free (free of blankets, pillows, or plush toys) and sheets should fit tightly around the mattress. Steer clear of using a pillow top mattress or mattress pads, as it could lead to suffocation if the baby rolls to his tummy.
- Your infant should sleep in a safety approved crib with a firm mattress. Do not use items like wedges or special sleep surfaces that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- To protect your infant, only use bedding and clothing made of non-toxic flame-resistant materials free from drawstrings and ribbons that might catch. Buttons and snaps should be securely attacked to prevent choking hazards.
- Avoid overheating baby. Insure the room has good air flow. If the room seems stuffy, use a small fan or open a window to provide fresh air. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees.
- If you use a pacifier at nap or bedtime, make sure it doesn’t have a cord or clip that might cause choking or strangulation.
- Avoid using blankets at nap or bed time; babies should sleep in a wearable blanket or similar. Swaddling is a safe way for your baby to sleep and has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Babies should sleep in a smoke free environment. This includes not sharing a bed with an adult smoker. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS.
- Educate people who care for your baby about safe sleep practices. You have every right to insist family members and care givers follow your instructions.