As scary as it is, sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, takes the lives of about 3,500 babies every year in the U.S. And while guidelines surface every so often instructing parents on how they can prevent SIDS, a NEW study provides easier-than-ever ways to ‘sharply’ decrease a child’s risk. Find out what to do for your little one here.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released new advice for parents to help them protect their babies from sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, at this week’s American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco, CA. Discussed even further on Oct. 24 via NPR, the organization presented its new policy statement with updated guidelines to make an infant’s sleep environment safer than ever before. And honestly, their tips are super doable!
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) October 24, 2016
“Pediatricians say there are some very simple things that can sharply lower [SIDS] risk,” NPR host Renee Montagne told listeners. “A big one — always put babies to sleep on their backs, never on their stomachs. And also on a very firm surface, such as a crib with a tight-fitting sheet. Never let a baby sleep on a soft couch or chair.” But that’s not all these new recommendations suggest.
Parents are also now advised to keep their sleeping babies in the same room with them while they sleep at night, and that practice should last for about an entire year — but especially for the first six months. “We do know that if a baby is in the same room and not on the same surface as a parent, that the risk of dying is halved compared to if the baby’s in a separate room,” Dr. Rachel Moon, who helped write the new guidelines told the radio show.
A baby’s crib or bassinet also should be kept bare — aka no soft bedding, blankets, or pillows. Soft toys and crib bumpers should also be avoided. Basically, the simpler an infant’s sleeping environment is, the better. In addition to monitoring a baby’s crib, parents should also make sure that their baby is not exposed to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs, as this too can raise the risk of SIDS.
Other ways to help lower a child’s risk of SIDS, according to the AAP, is to offer the infant a pacifier at nap time or bedtime. The use of home monitors or commercial devices — like wedges or positioners — that claim to lower the risk of SIDS, should also be avoided. Providing your child with updated and recommended vaccinations also lowers SIDS risk as well as having supervised tummy time while the baby is awake, which helps their muscular development.
Finally, breastfeeding is also considered a healthy measure to take when trying to avoid this tragic syndrome. Authors of the new guidelines did note that infants up to the age of four months are at the greatest risk of SIDS, however, there is increasing evidence that soft bedding and some of these other factors can be hazardous to babies even after this age.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you think these new guidelines make sense?