Educate helpers and relatives about sleep safety to prevent SIDS!
You might be well versed in sleep safety, mums and dads, but are your baby's other caregivers just as knowledgeable?
Out of all the accidental baby death reasons, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most common. But often, preventing it is as simple as knowing the best sleep safety measures.
Though you are fully aware of every sleep safety precaution, mums and dads, are your baby’s other caregivers — helpers, babysitters, relatives — just as knowledgeable?
A new study has found that other caregivers are often not aware about sleep safety. Because of this, they tend to make the mistake of placing babies in unsafe sleeping positions and places. And this exposes these babies to the risk of SIDS.
Tips you should give your baby’s other caregivers to prevent common baby death reasons
Based on the study’s findings, 1,375 out of 10,000 infant deaths happened when a parent was not around. In a majority of these tragic accidents, babies were found in unsafe sleep positions, particularly on their tummies. In some cases, babies died on a couch or adult-sized bed, both of which are considered unsafe places.
“If someone else — a baby sitter, relative or friend — is taking care of your baby, please make sure that they know to place your baby on [their] back in a crib and without any bedding,” urges study author Dr. Rachel Moon in a statement.
“You can’t make assumptions that the person with whom your baby is staying will know what is safest,” she further emphasises.
So make sure to reiterate that the safest sleeping position, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics, is to place babies on their backs. And that placing them on overly soft surfaces is dangerous.
Common sleep-related baby death reasons all caregivers must know about
Aside from sleep position-linked SIDS, there are other common baby death reasons worth educating your co-caregivers about.
It helps to always warn them each time you entrust your baby to their care, even if it’s just for a short while. Sleep-related deaths don’t just happen in the night time.
Their crib or bassinet has to be clear of blankets, soft pillows, or stuffed toys. These are all hazards not everyone knows about.
Even crib bumpers can be dangerous, as a study has found that these protective accessories are doing more harm than good. In one instance, a four-month-old baby was even suffocated to death by her own swaddle.
Just recently, a three-year-old choked on her own onesie as she slept. Thankfully, she survived.
If this could happen to a toddler — who already has fairly well-developed motor functions — imagine the dangers it poses to babies. Make sure your co-caregivers know that food isn’t the only choking hazard they need to be wary of. Choking can happen at any time, not just mealtimes.
They might be thin and soft, but even baby sheets and blankets can be strangulation hazards if you’re not careful. Always make sure to put babies to sleep on firm, flat surfaces. Sheets should be taut, with no visible creases.
Watch out for crib accessories like mobiles and wall-mounted lamps. A 16-month-old was once strangled to death in his crib after he pulled on a lamp.
Remember mums and dads, always make sure your co-caregivers are just as vigilant as you are! Even the simplest of safety measures can save your precious baby’s life.