Countless hours of footage showed that U.S. parents still put to sleep their infants in unsafe environments and hazardous sleep positions despite decades-old federal recommendations.
Federal experts cautioned that failing to follow basic infant sleep safety guidelines can greatly increase the babies’ risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
A group of researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that the disturbing findings were based on videos of parents and their slumbering babies rather than on police reports or self-reports from parents, as previous studies have been.
The team placed a camera on the room of 160 infants aged 1 month to 6 months. The cameras recorded parents while they placed their kids in unsafe sleep environments with total disregard of the recommended sleep positions for infants.
The most hazardous sleep position for a baby according to AAP is the prone position, but allowing your baby to sleep on their sides also ups the risk of smothering. Loose, bedding, pillows, stuffed animals represent hazardous elements to have in your baby’s crib as well, experts explained.
Moreover, bed-sharing is another common mistake which ups the risk of SIDS. The association noted that sleep-related incidents are the top causes of death of children between 1 month and one year of age.
AAP researchers found that between 10 percent and 21 percent of surveyed babies slept on hazardous surfaces, up to 33 percent slept in risky positions, while between 87 percent and 93 percent had hazardous items in their cribs.
These hazardous items include bumper pads, toys, soft and loose blankets. Many of these items were present while parents shared bed with their babies too.
The videos showed that up to 28 percent of babies were moved in the middle of the night and the babies often ended up sharing the sleep environment with an adult Experts acknowledged that many adults resort to bed-sharing due to the fatigue and exhaustion the raising of an infant involves.
Most of parents involved in the study were Caucasian and highly educated, researchers reported. This group of parents have often been thought as a lower risk group. But the recent study shows that regardless of the access to resource and knowledge, exhausted parents can still take hasty decisions.
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