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New SIDS study brings hope in fight to prevent infant deaths

The study was done by an Australian researcher who lost a child to SIDS.

ARIZONA, Texas — A new study is giving hope in the fight against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS. Researchers may have discovered a way to detect it early to prevent a child’s death.

SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1-year-old, where the cause of death was not obvious before the investigation.

“Many times these children are previously healthy children. So it does come at quite a big surprise,” said Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

According to the March of Dimes, in Arizona, on average, more than 3% of infants died of SIDS between 2017 and 2019.

There is no treatment or cure. Also, no way to detect early, until possibly now.

A new study by an Australian researcher claims to find an enzyme that may be a SIDS indicator.

The sample size was relatively small, but if more research confirms this, it could be a huge breakthrough for SIDS and the families affected by it.

“It'll be very interesting to see if there's any sort of genetic component to this,” said Dr. Kirkilas.

But until that happens, Kirkilas said parents should utilize safe-sleeping practices that have been proven to prevent the disease.

“When a parent is sleeping, and perhaps the infant gets stuck underneath the arm, and while the parents sleeping, they have no idea that the infant is suffocating,” said Dr. Kirkilas.

Other tips include placing babies on their backs in an empty crib so they have plenty of space to breathe.

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