Did you know that about 2,000 babies die in the U.S. each year of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? This is the sad truth, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even worse is the fact that the total number of Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUIDs) sits at about 4,000 each and every year in America.
Experts say that a large percentage of these deaths occur in the babies’ beds and can be prevented by ensuring that babies only sleep on and in the proper bedding. Talking about the need to secure your baby a safe sleep, Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant said, “Recommendations from the AAP, endorsed by the CDC, can help improve the safety of your baby’s sleep environment and reduce the likelihood of SUID.”
The AAP and CDC recommend the following:
First of all, adults must stop sleeping in the same bed with their babies. Tragically, infants sleeping with adults can die of SIDS due to accidental strangulation or suffocation. Instead, the recommendation is for adults to put their babies to sleep in the same room, not the same bed.
Next, parents need to only have their babies sleeping on firm bedding that meets safety standards. This means that infants have no business sleeping on sofas, beanbags, waterbeds, or even faux-bearskin rugs. Hand-in-hand with this tip is to only use properly-fitted sheets and blankets to protect babies from accidental strangulation.
Not only do surfaces need to be firm, but other soft items such as teddy bears and pillows need to be kept out of infants’ beds. Babies can be suffocated, trapped and strangled by these seemingly-innocent soft products.
Last of all, babies need to sleep on their backs.
To learn more about keeping your baby safe and happy in bed, visit the AAP guidelines and the CDC.