The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new set of guidelines for the prevention of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Up to 3,500 babies in the United States die every year due to SIDS and other sleep-related causes. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a decrease in SIDS cases since 1990s, an increase in the cases of infant death arising from strangulation and accidental suffocation have been noted in 2014.
Medical News Today said the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new policy guideline to make sleep safer for infants.
"We know that parents may be overwhelmed with a new baby in the home, and we want to provide them with clear and simple guidance on how and where to put their infant to sleep," says lead statement author Dr. Rachel Moon, of the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Virginia and AAP member.
NPR said the new guidelines advised parents to sleep in the same room with their babies from six months to one year. It is also important to make sure that babies never sleep on their stomachs but on their backs and on a firm surface. Never put soft toys, pillows or blankets on a baby's crib as these could suffocate them.
AAP Publications said parents should avoid exposing their babies to illegal drugs, alcohol and smoke. Healthy Children said parents should make sure that the cribs or bassinets they buy meet the required safety standards. The baby's crib should also be within arm's reach of the parents when sleeping for easy access and monitoring.
Parents are discouraged from sleeping with their babies on the same bed as they can roll over and unknowingly smother them. Breastfeeding can also prevent SIDS.
"Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous," said Dr. Rachel Moon, one of those who wrote the guidelines.
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