Home Health News Soft bedding continues to claim infant lives despite warnings, study finds

Soft bedding continues to claim infant lives despite warnings, study finds

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NEW YORK (CNN) — Amanda Saucedo did every thing the pure parenting blogs she learn instructed her to do earlier than she introduced her new child son Ben into her mattress to co-sleep in October 2014.

“I was a single mom of two kids, so I took sleep any way I could get it,” mentioned Saucedo, who was 27 on the time. “I was like, ‘These people say it’s safe if I take these precautions,’ so that’s what I did — only one pillow, one blanket and only the mom in the bed, with a baby that is exclusively breastfed.”

Saucedo had efficiently co-slept with Ben’s older brother, 3-year-old Trae, and thought she was much more cautious with Ben.

But on the morning Ben turned 30 days outdated, Saucedo woke to discover him useless — a sufferer of sudden infant demise syndrome, or SIDS.

“There wasn’t anything on him when I woke,” Saucedo mentioned. “We had been sleeping on my mattress, so after all the mattress is not going to be as firm as a crib mattress. So it might have compromised his airway, or perhaps I used to be exhaling in his face and he wasn’t getting sufficient oxygen. I’m not likely certain.

“Instantly I blamed myself, after all,” she said. “Even on the 911 name, I instructed them ‘I do know you are not supposed to sleep with infants but it surely was the one method he would sleep.’ “

SIDS numbers aren’t declining

Despite many years of public health messages designed to forestall sudden sudden infant demise, or SUID, some 3,500 babies die from it every year within the U.S., in accordance to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That makes SUID the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1 yr of age.

(SIDS is a subset of SUID. After an investigation, a SUID demise may be from suffocation by way of airway blockage or tangled in bedding and blankets, an infection, choking, harm or a cardiac or metabolic dysfunction. When the demise can’t be defined, the baby is alleged to have died from SIDS.)

“These deaths are nonetheless occurring — they usually occur to well-meaning mother and father,” mentioned Dr. Rachel Moon, who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics job power on SIDS and authored the AAP policy statement on safe infant sleep.

“We have remained on the identical fee of sleep-related deaths since round 1998,” she added. “And the speed within the U.S. is way larger than that in most developed — and even some not-so-developed international locations.”


These deaths are nonetheless occurring — they usually occur to well-meaning mother and father.

–Dr. Rachel Moon, chair, American Academy of Pediatrics job power on SIDS


First acknowledged in 1969, by the early 90s researchers had discovered that having an infant sleep on its again on a firm crib floor was related to the bottom threat. In 1994, a large public consciousness effort known as the “Back to Sleep” marketing campaign, started to persuade mother and father to solely put infants to sleep on their backs, and never their tummies.

Other key options of the marketing campaign had been the avoidance of soppy bedding or blankets in cribs, together with crib bumpers, ornamental pillows, toys, or anything.

Now, a new study of practically 5,000 infants who died instantly between 2011 and 2017 discovered practically 70% had been sleeping in an unsafe setting per the AAP safe-sleep guidelines, comparable to sleeping on gentle surfaces or with suffocation hazards like blankets, pillows, and crib decorations added by caregivers.

“With regards to gentle bedding, it’s often blankets, pillows, and bumper pads,” mentioned Moon, who’s division head of common pediatrics on the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She wasn’t concerned within the study.

“Bed-sharing not often happens within the absence of pillows and blankets,” Moon said, adding that beds, couches and chairs can be extremely dangerous, largely because “they’re so plush and gentle.”


Many mother and father deal with sleep place (which is essential) however do not assume that eliminating gentle bedding is that vital.

–Dr. Rachel Moon, chair, American Academy of Pediatrics job power on SIDS


But there are a lot of unsafe sleeping conditions that oldsters do not take into account, she mentioned.

“Many mother and father deal with sleep place (which is essential) however do not assume that eliminating gentle bedding is that vital,” Moon mentioned.

However, the brand new study, printed within the journal Pediatrics, discovered 75% of the infant deaths due to airway obstruction had been due to gentle bedding. In reality, solely 1% to 2% of the unexplained deaths had no unsafe sleep components.

“We all the time need a baby to be on their again, in a crib, bassinet or different separate flat, firm, floor that’s each shut to the mother and father’ mattress and has nothing in or on it aside from a skinny tight-fitting sheet and the baby,” Moon mentioned.

“I do know that it’s laborious to do protected sleep for every sleep, however please maintain doing it!,” she added. “Remember that the most secure baby is one who’s on the again, in a crib or bassinet or one other flat, firm floor, with out something in it.”

‘Absolute nightmare’

It’s a message that Saucedo will always remember. In the six years since Ben’s demise, she has turned her grief right into a campaign to guarantee that no different mom makes her mistake.

She volunteers for First Candle, one of many oldest SIDS nonprofits dedicated to educating mother and father about SIDS and different sleep-related infant deaths, whereas additionally offering assist for grieving households who’ve suffered a loss.

Saucedo additionally takes her message to different moms on Facebook with Benny Bears, a nonprofit basis she and her household created to unfold the phrase on safe sleep practices recommended by the AAP:

  • Babies ought to sleep on their backs for all naps and at night time till they’re 1 yr outdated.
  • That applies even to infants who battle with gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. “Some mother and father fear that infants will choke when on their backs, however the baby’s airway anatomy and the gag reflex will maintain that from occurring,” the AAP says.
  • If a baby falls asleep in a automobile seat, stroller, swing, infant service, or sling, transfer your baby to a firm sleep floor on his or her again as quickly as attainable.
  • Make certain the floor of the crib, bassinet or play yard is firm — so firm there aren’t any indentions when the baby is mendacity on it. Look for one which meets the security requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and solely use a fitted sheet designed for that particular product.
  • Nothing else ought to be within the crib aside from the baby. No ornamental bumpers, no cute toys, no pillows, nothing however the baby. “If you might be nervous about your baby getting chilly, you should utilize infant sleep clothes, comparable to a wearable blanket. In common, your baby ought to be dressed with just one layer greater than you might be sporting,” the AAP says.
  • Only convey your baby into your mattress to feed or consolation. Bed-sharing isn’t really helpful for any infants.
  • Never place your baby to sleep on a sofa, couch, or armchair and don’t enable a baby to go to sleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like lounging pads.

Despite her grief, Saucedo by no means hesitates to inform her story if it’d save a life.

“No matter how laborious, observe protected sleep — each single time — since you do not ever assume it is going to be you till you are the one which wakes up and finds each mother or father’s absolute nightmare.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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