Most parents unknowingly endanger infants because of unsafe bedding

Most parents unknowingly endanger infants because of unsafe bedding

As a general rule, experts caution against stuffed animals, bumper pads, pillows and other things that infants sleep with.

Although the exact source of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remains unknown, experts believe that it is related to the manner in which an infant sleeps. Particularly, they caution against newborns sleeping on their stomach.

Experts also caution against stuffed animals, bumper pads, pillows and other things that infants sleep with.

Yet despite their repeated warnings, a new study revealed that many parents still put their babies in unsafe bedding.

The study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics, and used the information based on videos recorded in 160 children's homes.

In fact 14 percent of babies in the focus group had been placed on their sides or on their stomachs rather than on their backs.

Professor of pediatrics and public health sciences and chief of the division of general pediatrics at the Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Ian M. Paul said that these practices increase the risk of sleep-related infant death, the most common cause of death in babies this age.

Sadly, many parents ignore warnings against unsafe bedding.

"Parents don't think it's going to happen to them, even though 3,500 infants die each year," Dr. Paul said."They think that if these products are being sold, they are safe.”

The study revealed that while 86% of the babies were put to bed on their backs, they are often placed on their stomach after they wake in the middle of the night and put down again.

It’s important to remember that as a general rule, infants’ sleeping area should only contain nothing but the baby and the clothes they’re wearing.

“[Infants] do move some during the night," Dr. Paul said. "And while the parents put a blanket on so it's not covering the baby's face, babies can wiggle, and as they wiggle, the blanket will move, too.”

Blankets, pillows, and other items can suffocate a child then they do move in their sleep.

Meanwhile, Dr. Raymond Pitetti, associate chief of the emergency department of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, was shocked to find that as much as 9 out of 10 parents put unnecessary items in their babies’ cribs.

"This tells me we still have a long way to go in terms of educating parents and getting them to understand the risks," he says. "It's shocking.”

Not only that, these parents knew beforehand that their methods are being videotaped and had prior knowledge of the recommended sleeping habits of infants.

“For a long time the focus was on 'Back to Sleep,' he said. "That was a great slogan. It really put the emphasis on putting babies on their backs to sleep, but it doesn't include the other factors. Maybe we have to come up with a new slogan."

Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines

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Written by

James Martinez

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