SIDS Report: Babies Should Be In Cribs, Not Parents Bed
A new Scottish study says the safest place for the smallest babies is in a crib as sharing a bed or sofa with parents seems to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Though the cause of SIDS is still unknown, the study from the University of Glasgow found that 87% of SIDS babies were found dead in their parents’ beds.
The leading cause of death among infants older than a month but less than a year old, SIDS has declined by 50% in the US during the last decade thanks to education programs that have created awareness, according to the National Center For Health Statistics (NCHS).
Published in the July issue of the Journal of Pediatrics, the study out of Scotland found that 52% of the SIDS babies examined had shared a bed, a cot, a couch or other surface some time during the day they died. Of healthy babies, only 20% shared sleeping space with a parent.
Though 91% of SIDS cases happen between 1 and 6 months old, 72% of SIDS infants found dead in their parents’ bed were under 11 weeks old.
“The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot [crib] in your room for the first six months,” according to David Tappin, MD, MPH, of the University of Glasgow.
Researchers evaluated 123 SIDS cases in Scotland from 1996 to 2000, reviewing information provided by the parents about sleeping habits and the circumstances surrounding the death. The information was compared to that of 263 healthy babies.
The risk of SIDS was higher among babies sharing beds regardless of how long they had shared the space and whether their parents were smokers.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, several factors seem to be consistent with the occurrence of SIDS.
Sleeping on stomachs. Always put babies to sleep on their backs for overnight or naptime sleep.
Overheating. Keep room temperature between 68 degrees and 72 degrees F. Do not overdress the baby, or put a blanket over the babies head.
Overcrowding. Only have one baby for crib and don’t share sleep surfaces.
Soft, cushy sleep surfaces. Avoid waterbeds, couches, pillows, stuffed toys, bean bags, foam pads, and synthetic-filled adult pillows.
Loose bedding. Avoid loose, large comforters, quilts, and blankets.
Smoking. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy and babies exposed to smoke after birth have an increased risk of SIDS.
Preterm and low birth weight infants.
Babies born to mothers younger than 20 years old.
Babies born to mothers who had no or late prenatal care.