More than half of babies at risk for death due to this common practice

If you think you are doing your infant a favor by placing it to sleep on a soft comforter or blanket, you may want to think again. This habit–a common one in American households–can significantly increase a child’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). What’s more, there are an alarming number of parents who aren’t aware of this risk. SEE ALSO: Puerto Ricans have the highest rates of SIDS among Hispanics According to data from the National Infant Sleep Position Survey (NISP), which collected information on the influence of infant sleep position and other safe sleep recommendations on infant care practices, 55 percent of infants are placed to sleep with bedding that increases the risk of SIDS by more than 20 percent. “Parents have good intentions but may not understand that blankets, quilts and pillows increase a baby’s risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation,” said the study’s first author, Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, Ph.D., M.P.H., in a press release. SIDS, according to the American SIDS Institute, is an unexplained infant death resulting from an unknown medical abnormality or vulnerability, and is considered a form of natural death. Accidental suffocation falls into this category, and a growing number of SIDS cases indicate asphyxiating conditions, such as prone sleep or co-bedding, as opposed to clear evidence of airway obstruction. Though parents have been warned about the dangers of infant positioning and sharing a bed with an infant, some experts feel the importance of bedding has fallen through the cracks. “I was startled a little bit by the number of people still using bedding in the sleep area,”Dr. Michael Goodstein, a neonatologist in York, Pa., told the New York Times. “Sleeping face down on soft bedding increases the risks of SIDS 21-fold.” Though it makes sense to an adult to place a child on what is otherwise a warm, soft, fluffy blanket, The Baby Center explains that the more “extra” fabric there is around an infant while it sleeps, the higher the risk for accidental suffocation. Instead of giving into the temptation of fluffy comforters, parents should use sleepers or infant sacks or pajamas with feet rather than comforters or blankets. The mattress pad inside the crib should be fitted, and can be made from a warm material like flannel for colder months. Parents who opt to cover their child should only do so with a light blanket, and that blanket should be securely around the foot and sides of the mattress, reaching only up to your baby’s chest, never higher than the armpits. Similarly, objects like stuffed animals, toys, or crib bumpers should be kept out of the sleep area. SEE ALSO: Increase in Hispanic infant mortality rates in New Mexico “Parents receive a lot of mixed messages,” said study author Marian Willinger, Ph.D. ” “Relatives may give them quilts or fluffy blankets as presents for the new baby, and they feel obligated to use them. Or they see magazine photos of babies with potentially unsafe bedding items. But babies should be placed for sleep on a firm, safety approved mattress and fitted sheet, without any other bedding.” Parents can significantly decrease a child’s risk for SIDS by following these four rules from the American SIDS Institute: Decrease infant’s medical vulnerability. This is only possible through increased medical research to understand such things as genetic abnormalities, brain abnormalities, prematurity and other pregnancy related medical risks. Keep the child’s airway free. Avoid prone (stomach) sleep, bed sharing and cluttered sleep surfaces. Don’t do anything to decrease the infant’s arousal. Avoid prone sleep, bed sharing, over-heating, and sedation. Avoid risks of infections. Don’t do anything to decrease the parent’s arousal. Avoid situations leading to exhaustion as well as alcohol & drug sedation.The post More than half of babies at risk for death due to this common practice appeared first on Voxxi.

Soft objects and loose bedding – such as thick blankets, quilts and pillows – can obstruct an infant’s airway and pose a risk of suffocation, according to a research. (Photo by TPG/Getty Images)

If you think you are doing your infant a favor by placing it to sleep on a soft comforter or blanket, you may want to think again. This habit–a common one in American households–can significantly increase a child’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). What’s more, there are an alarming number of parents who aren’t aware of this risk.

SEE ALSO: Puerto Ricans have the highest rates of SIDS among Hispanics

According to data from the National Infant Sleep Position Survey (NISP), which collected information on the influence of infant sleep position and other safe sleep recommendations on infant care practices, 55 percent of infants are placed to sleep with bedding that increases the risk of SIDS by more than 20 percent.

“Parents have good intentions but may not understand that blankets, quilts and pillows increase a baby’s risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation,” said the study’s first author, Carrie K. Shapiro-Mendoza, Ph.D., M.P.H., in a press release.

SIDS, according to the American SIDS Institute, is an unexplained infant death resulting from an unknown medical abnormality or vulnerability, and is considered a form of natural death. Accidental suffocation falls into this category, and a growing number of SIDS cases indicate asphyxiating conditions, such as prone sleep or co-bedding, as opposed to clear evidence of airway obstruction.

Though parents have been warned about the dangers of infant positioning and sharing a bed with an infant, some experts feel the importance of bedding has fallen through the cracks.

“I was startled a little bit by the number of people still using bedding in the sleep area,”Dr. Michael Goodstein, a neonatologist in York, Pa., told the New York Times. “Sleeping face down on soft bedding increases the risks of SIDS 21-fold.”

Though it makes sense to an adult to place a child on what is otherwise a warm, soft, fluffy blanket, The Baby Center explains that the more “extra” fabric there is around an infant while it sleeps, the higher the risk for accidental suffocation. Instead of giving into the temptation of fluffy comforters, parents should use sleepers or infant sacks or pajamas with feet rather than comforters or blankets.

The mattress pad inside the crib should be fitted, and can be made from a warm material like flannel for colder months. Parents who opt to cover their child should only do so with a light blanket, and that blanket should be securely around the foot and sides of the mattress, reaching only up to your baby’s chest, never higher than the armpits. Similarly, objects like stuffed animals, toys, or crib bumpers should be kept out of the sleep area.

SEE ALSO: Increase in Hispanic infant mortality rates in New Mexico

“Parents receive a lot of mixed messages,” said study author Marian Willinger, Ph.D. ” “Relatives may give them quilts or fluffy blankets as presents for the new baby, and they feel obligated to use them. Or they see magazine photos of babies with potentially unsafe bedding items. But babies should be placed for sleep on a firm, safety approved mattress and fitted sheet, without any other bedding.”

Parents can significantly decrease a child’s risk for SIDS by following these four rules from the American SIDS Institute:

  1. Decrease infant’s medical vulnerability. This is only possible through increased medical research to understand such things as genetic abnormalities, brain abnormalities, prematurity and other pregnancy related medical risks.
  2. Keep the child’s airway free. Avoid prone (stomach) sleep, bed sharing and cluttered sleep surfaces.
  3. Don’t do anything to decrease the infant’s arousal. Avoid prone sleep, bed sharing, over-heating, and sedation. Avoid risks of infections.
  4. Don’t do anything to decrease the parent’s arousal. Avoid situations leading to exhaustion as well as alcohol & drug sedation.

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The post More than half of babies at risk for death due to this common practice appeared first on Voxxi.