Researchers believe they may have found the answer to what causes SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is every parent's worst nightmare.
So little is known about the condition and there are no warning signs. It's a fatal condition that makes parents feel powerless when it comes to protecting our children.
There have been various theories over what might trigger SIDS in seemingly healthy infants but not enough to prevent it from happening. Researchers in America feel that they may have figured out what causes SIDS but is it enough to help stop it occurring?
While many have suggested that the cause of SIDS is suffocation due to unsuitable bedding or the baby accidentally moving the blanket over their face, it just leaves many other questions unanswered. Among those questions is why wouldn't the child's instincts which tell them to roll over or cry out kick in?
Researchers at the University of Iowa believe that a major contributing factor in cases of SIDS is malfunctioning serotonin receptors. When an individual has a malfunction with their serotonin receptors it prevents they from noticing blood oxygen and carbon dioxide are unhealthy. Due to this the person or child does not realise that that are suffocating.
Neurologist Gordon Buchanan said of the study;
"Defects in the brain stem serotonin system have been identified in the brains of several cohorts of babies that have dies of SIDS. Similar anatomical defects are starting to be identified in pathological and imaging studies of people who have died of SUDEP."
The detection of this receptor malfunction could help to prevent more SIDS related tragedies but until more is understood about the condition Buchanan recommends that parents use as many preventative measures as possible including putting babies to sleep on their back and making sure there is no loose fitting clothing in the crib.