A new study is revealing soft bedding continues to cause infants to die of SIDS.
According to experts — it is no secret keeping newborns on a firm sleep surface with nothing else in the crib (aside from a fitted sheet for the mattress) is the safest way for your baby to sleep. And the evidence only grows after a study published this month by the journal Pediatrics gives more insight on SIDS deaths.
The study looked at the sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) of nearly 5,000 babies from 2011 to 2017, and disocvered that a majority, nearly 72 percent, occurred in a sleep environment deemed “unsafe.”
And while 82 percent were categorized as unexplained, a majority of those that were considered “explained” shared one thing in common: soft bedding.
“Among explained and possible suffocation deaths, ~75 percent resulted from airway obstruction attributed to soft bedding,” the study said.
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The study also found that just 1 to 2 percent of unexplained deaths had no unsafe sleep factors.
“These deaths are still happening – and they happen to well-meaning parents. We have remained at the same rate of sleep-related deaths since around 1998,” Dr. Rachel Moon, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics task force of SIDS, told the outlet.
“And the rate in the U.S. is much higher than that in most developed – and even some not-so-developed countries.”
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Moon, who also authored the AAP policy statement on safe infant sleep, added that many parents focus on sleep position,but the bigger issue is to be cautious of soft bedding.
AAP guidelines state that babies should sleep on their backs at all times until their first birthday, as babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides are more likely to die of SIDS (which is considered a subset of SUID).
Parents are also advised to use a firm sleep service that does not indent when the baby is lying on it, and to ensure their cribs, bassinets, portable cribs and play yards meet safety standards.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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