The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently published a study showing that an overwhelming number of children are sleeping in an unsafe environment. These environments or unsafe sleep positions can cause babies to develop SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, which is, indeed, every parent’s worst nightmare.

The study involved volunteers who allowed their child to be recorded when sleeping at the one month mark of their child’s life, as well as the 3 month and 6 month mark.

Researchers were alarmed to find that almost all of the children were sleeping in a way that the AAP would deem ‘unsuitable.’ [1]

The press release for the study states:

“Most parents, even when aware of being recorded, placed the infants in environments with established risk factors for sleep-related infant deaths, including positioning the children on their sides or stomachs; soft sleep surface; loose bedding; or bed-sharing.”

The video footage showed that up to 93% of parents participating in the study were placing loose items in the baby’s crib, such as stuffed animals, pillows, bedding, and bumper pads. None of these are recommended by the AAP.

And while the number of sudden infant deaths seems to be dropping, it is still important that parents understand how a baby should be sleeping. [2]

The study also showed that at least 33% of babies were not placed in the correct position for sleep. The AAP recommends that all babies are placed on their backs when going down for a nap or for the night until the age of one year. If a baby gets in another position during the night, the baby may be allowed to remain that way, but must be placed initially on their backs.

Parents are also advised not to allow their children to have other items in their bed when they are sleeping. They are discouraged from using pillows or fluffy blankets, and allowing a pet to sleep in the same crib as the child.

In lieu of blankets, physicians recommend that parents consider sleep sacks, as these can be a warm, but safer alternative for comfortable infant sleep.

Sources:

[1] Huffington Post

[2] My Southern Health


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Post written byAnna Scanlon:
Anna Scanlon is an author of YA and historical fiction and a PhD student at the University of Leicester where she is finishing her degree in modern history.