By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
An American Academy of Pediatrics report released Monday is warning parents that they are placing infants in unsafe sleeping positions if they put them on their sides or stomachs on soft surfaces or with loose bedding.
The study, in which researchers used videos of babies being put down to sleep, showed parents placing infants in environments that could lead to suffocation – the Number 1 cause of injury-related death among children younger than 1.
According to the study, parents put children at risk by placing them on their sides or stomach on soft surfaces when the child’s mouth and nose could become covered either with bedding or a soft mattress pad. Of the more than 160 infants enrolled in the study, 10-21 percent were placed on a non-recommended sleep surface and 87-93 percent had items on their sleep surface that were potentially dangerous. The study also noted that 14-33 percent were placed in non-recommended positions.
Ian Paul, author of the report, told USA Today that while parents are told the best positions for their babies to sleep, they often don’t follow the advice.
“Perhaps we have to make it even simpler,” Paul said. “We need to be extremely clear and unambiguous in our advice and we need to make sure we model safe sleep environment when babies are in the hospital,” meaning put infants to sleep on their backs.
The study also strongly warned against bringing an infant into his or her parent’s bed. The study saw 12 to 28 percent of the children were moved in the middle of the night, many to their parent’s beds.