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SIDS: Wives Tales, Ignorance, Prejudices and Slander

Written by Jeanne Ohm, D.C.   
Friday, 27 June 2008 10:49
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While "surfing the net" one evening I came across the website: "Child Secure- Big Safety for Little Kids". Its main article, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, drew my attention even closer. Their definition began with, "SIDS is the death of an apparently healthy infant that remains unexplained after a thorough autopsy and death scene investigation . SIDS is the leading killer of infants between one week and one year with an approximate rate of 2 per thousand live births. 6-7 thousand babies die of SIDS every year in the US . The peak age is 2-4 months and the majority of the deaths occur during the winter months. Researchers believe that SIDS probably has more than one cause, although the final process appears to be similar in most cases. SIDS cannot be predicted, prevented or reversed."

Although this last statement may sound a bit foreboding and hopeless, the American Academy of Pediatrics & the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development are now recommending babies sleep on their backs only. (It's sort of a preventative note even though they say nothing can prevent it.) And yet they will continue on with ..."It is important to state that SIDS continues to be an unsolved problem."

Varnum Poor. Oil painting of sleeping baby.As chiropractors, I do hope you are beginning to draw a slight correlation here. How many of you have made connections between the stomach sleepers in your office and their inability to hold cervical adjustments? How many of you used to sleep on your stomach before you realized it was rotating your neck into an unnatural, subluxating position? If you haven't had the experience, give it a try. I recommend you do so when you know you will be having your spine checked the next day -you will need it. Parenting six children and both being chiropractors, my husband and I never considered the option of turning our infants' necks to the side so they could lie on their stomachs. Even though the "medical opinion of our day" recommended this posture to prevent vomit aspiration, it seemed anatomically and chiropractically unsound.

Now, the amusing factor in all of this is the ignorant sector of the medical profession's inability to correlate the relationship between the twisting of the cervical spine and its affects to an already traumatized spinal cord from birth This is perhaps because they say they do thorough autopsies on SIDS kids, but when you read more in depth research on infant spinal injury correlated with SIDS, it is revealed this type of in depth analysis escapes most SIDS autopsies. Often the spine is considered uninjured if there appears to be an absence of mechanical injury to the cervical / thoracic spine.1 A closer look on the part of many researchers in various studies revealed spinal cord hemorrhage to be the principal lesion.2,3,4,5,6 Frequently, trauma had been "so mild that it escaped recognition."