Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year of age that doesn’t have a known cause even after a complete investigation. This investigation includes performing a complete autopsy, examining the death scene, and reviewing the clinical history. When a baby dies, health care providers, law enforcement personnel, and communities try to find out why. They ask questions, examine the baby, gather information, and run tests. If they can’t find a cause for the death, and if the baby was younger than 1 year old, the medical examiner or coroner will call the death SIDS. If there is still some uncertainty as to the cause after it is determined to be fully unexplained, then the medical examiner or coroner might leave the cause of death as “unknown”. Facts about SIDS:
- SIDS is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.
- More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available.
- Most SIDS deaths occur when in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby's first year.
- SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who seems healthy.
- SIDS is sometimes called "crib death" or "cot death" because it is associated with the timeframe when the baby is sleeping. Cribs themselves don't cause SIDS, but the baby's sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.
- Slightly more boys die of SIDS than do girls.
- In the past, the number of SIDS deaths seemed to increase during the colder months of the year. But today, the numbers are more evenly spread throughout the calendar year.
- SIDS rates for the United States have dropped steadily since 1994 in all racial and ethnic groups. Thousands of infant lives have been saved, but some ethnic groups are still at higher risk for SIDS.
According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States and 20% to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries. Physical therapists can help in risk reduction and prevention of falls. How well we keep our balance now, in midlife, can protect us from what lies ahead. Avoiding falls and improving your balance early in life means a longer life. Approximately 20% of women who fracture a hip become permanently disabled, and another 20% die within a year. In fact, health problems linked to hip fractures result in more women's deaths each year than breast cancer does. An enhanced sense of stability doesn't just help protect you from future falls, it helps with immediate health benefits, including improved mobility, fewer injuries, greater capacity to push yourself harder during workouts—all increasing your overall fitness. Test Your Balance Try the following moves to test your balance and see what you need to work on: 1. On both feet: Stand with feet together, anklebones touching, and arms folded across chest; then close your eyes. Have someone time you: It's normal to sway a bit, but you should be able to stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet. Next, place one foot directly in front of the other and close your eyes. You should be able to stand for at least 38 seconds on both sides. 2. On one foot: Stand on one foot and bend other knee, lifting non-supporting foot off floor without letting it touch standing leg. (Do this in a doorway so you can grab the sides if you start to fall.) Repeat with eyes closed. People age 60 and younger can typically hold the pose for about 29 seconds with their eyes open, 21 seconds with their eyes closed. People age 61 and older: 22 seconds with eyes open, 10 seconds with eyes closed. 3. On ball of foot: Stand on one foot with hands on hips, and place non-supporting foot against inside knee of standing leg. Raise heel off floor and hold the pose—you should be able to do so for 25 seconds. Talk to your doctor about additional tips and tricks to help you improve your balance.
When it comes to your long-term health, vitamin D is one of the crucial nutrients your body needs to keep running smoothly. Sufficient levels can reduce your risk of depression, high blood pressure, cancer and possibly diabetes. Having enough vitamin D also ensures the health of your bones and immune system. Needless to say, it's important to make sure that you're getting enough, but where can you get vitamin D, and how much do you need? Children age 1 and older and adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should get an average of 600 international units of vitamin D a day. The same amount is recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Once you turn 71, your vitamin D intake should increase to about 800 IUs each day. There aren't many foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D. Some of the best natural sources include fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, which are also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms also have some vitamin D, but not as much. Your best bet is to eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin D, like milk, cereal, orange juice, yogurt and soy milk. Your body can make its own vitamin D when you're exposed to sunlight. But, always make sure to wear sunscreen if you are out in the sun. For the sake of your body, make it a point to eat vitamin D-rich foods or take a vitamin D supplement. As with many nutrients, you can overdo it taking supplements. The safe upper limit for children 1 to 8 years is 2,500 to 3,000 IUs per day; for other children and adults (including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding), it’s 4,000 IUs per day. More than that can damage your kidneys or cause toxicity, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, constipation, weakness, weight loss, confusion or problems with heart rhythm. Vitamin D supplements also can interact with other medications, so be sure and talk to your health care provider if you think you need supplements. Talk to your doctor if you feel you are not getting enough vitamin D.
This month is breast cancer awareness month. How are you showing your support? Wearing pink? Joining a community walk? Getting a mammogram? Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States (other than skin cancer). But, millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment. This month we support our breast cancer survivors, those women and men that are being affected by this disease now, and those that may be affected by breast cancer in the future. Click below or on the link here, on our Navigating Breast Cancer Video.