Are you practicing safe sleep?
Moms may not be using best practices when putting infants to sleep, according to the Safe to Sleep campaign.
Despite a nearly two-decade old study by the organization urging parents to lay babies on their backs, a mere 43.7% of mothers surveyed said they employ this method regularly.
A whopping 77.3% of mothers surveyed in the study said they usually put their babies to sleep on their backs, but not always.
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“What was new and hadn’t been explored before was this idea of what people intended to do versus what they actually do,” Dr. Eve Colon, a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and co-author of the study told CNN.
“What we found was the people intended to put their baby on their back but didn’t always do that.”
The study also found that some mothers and caregivers felt their baby’s sleep position wasn’t up to them. Those people were more than three times as likely to put infants to sleep on their stomachs, CNN reported.
“I think the fact that parents don’t feel like they have control is something we can talk about,” Dr. Rachel Moon told the publication.
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“It’s often the child that’s the queen or the king of the household. And I think parents often forget that they’re the adults of the household, and they can actually make decisions if they think they’re right for their children.”
The Safe to Sleep campaign, along with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, first began pushing this infant sleep position in 1994, suggesting that it may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS.
Updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that parents and caregivers sleep in the same room as babies until they’re six months old. They do not, however, suggest sleeping in the same bed.
It has also been said that infants should be placed on their backs atop a firm sleeping surface covered in a sheet that fits snuggly. Parents and caregivers should avoid adding pillows and blankets to sleeping areas to avoid potential suffocation.
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The organization has found that the key to lessening the risk of SIDS lies in education.
“Every single health care provider needs to be saying the same thing,” Moon told CNN.
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