AAP Recommends Parents to Follow Safe Sleeping Practices with their Babies

AAP Recommends Parents to Follow Safe Sleeping Practices with their Babies

Parents have been advised to follow safe sleep practices while putting their babies to bed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Having safer sleeping practices and avoiding smoking near infants are very important for the health of infants.

Avoiding such practices reduces risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and other unknown causes of death to child. The study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada reported that about 4,000 infants die every year unexpectedly and for no apparent reason.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that children younger than one year die mostly of SIDS. More than 2,060 infant deaths were reported due to SIDS in 2010. The data included 910 due to unknown cause and 630 with accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed.

In a survey, about 18.5% of all mothers were found sharing their bed with their infants with 10% put their babies to sleep on stomach. More number of these cases was found in Hispanic and black mothers with 28% of Hispanic mothers were found sharing their bed with babies and 22% of black parents putting their children to sleep on their stomach.

Danelle Fisher, board-certified pediatrician and vice-chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, said that the safest position for babies is sleeping on their backs.

Jennifer Gardner, board-certified pediatrician and founder of the Healthy Kids Company, said many parents are having wrong belief that allowing child to sleep on back causes choking hazard. But, Gardner said that it is more difficult for child to aspirate in back to sleep compared to tummy or side sleep.

Also, there should be no blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers, or loose-fitting clothing on or around the baby.

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