Holidays are some of the most treasured and special times of the year. The holiday season provides us with an opportunity to spend time with loved ones, to take time off work, cozy up next to a warm fire with hot cocoa in hand and give the gift of love and thankfulness.
The single ladies of the world rally on New Year’s Eve, putting on their little black dresses and high heels to go out dancing! But for all you mothers out there, a new study’s findings may be sobering this New Year's.
Research led by sociologist and professor David Phillips at the University of California at San Diego found that more babies die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the United States on New Year's Day than any other day of the year.
It's not clear why, nor does the research point to anything as the cause of the SIDS deaths, but researchers suspect it has something to do with parents drinking heavily the night before and putting their children in jeopardy.
“Researchers analyzed a database of 129,090 deaths from SIDS from 1973 to 2006 and 295,151 other infant deaths during that time period. They found that the highest number of deaths from SIDS occurs on New Year's Day: They spike by almost a third above the number of deaths that would be expected on a winter day,” according to the USA Today story.
The study appeared in the current issue of the journal Addiction and authors said it is the first, large-scale U.S. study to explore possible connections between alcohol and SIDS.
Phillips’ findings suggest that drunk parents are doing something — or not doing something — that puts babies at higher risk for SIDS. One SIDS specialist said parents who have too much to drink may miss the signs of a baby in distress while they're asleep.
So what should you, as a parent, do to lower the risk of SIDS (on New Year’s Eve and every night of the year)?
1. Don’t drink. It’s better to be fully aware and in control of yourself so that you can attend to your child.
2. Place babies to sleep on their backs. Even if they seem to sleep better on their stomach or sides, babies laying on their back seems to be the safer option.