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Pacifiers Reduce SIDS Occurence

Posted Sep 22 2008 5:37pm
_The 1994 "Back to Sleep" campaign, to place infants on their back for sleep, has helped reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
-In November 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommends offering a pacifier to infants 1 month until 1 year of age at sleep and nap time to reduce the incidence of SIDS
-AAP expert comittee on SIDS terms the evidence that pacifier use prevents SIDS "compelling"
-The "compelling" evidence includes a 92% reduction in SIDS
-There are many theroies but no agreed-upon mechanism in SIDS
-My opinion:
---sucking the pacifier stimulates salivary production and swallowing
---this causes clearing of gastric contents from the esophagus and normalization of the pH and internal environment of the esophagus
---in certain infants the presence of gastric reflux in the esophagus triggers a massive vagal nerve response intended to protect the person
---an unintended consequence of the "automatic" protective response is cardiovascular collapse likely triggering cardiac arrythmia and cardiac arrest in an otherwise healthy infant

-Offer the pacifier when the infant sleeps or naps
-Do not flavor, force, alter or reinsert the pacifier; it's almost as if the child intuitively responds...
-Even if we don't know the "why" this is inexpensive and safe, why not ? (You might save a life)
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