Parents might think that when their baby is lying in bed, they are safe all the time. However, a recent report revealed that a number of babies die of suffocation before they reach their first birthday has been rising in the recent years. This includes the number of deaths of infants who are sharing beds with their parents.
From 1999 to 2015, the suffocation death rate of babies younger than one-year-old climbed from 12.4 to 28.3 for every 1,000 infants. In 2015 alone, there were 1,100 infant deaths reported. Majority of these deaths were due to suffocation while the babies were in bed.
Beware of Stuffed Animals
According to author David Schwebel of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, parents should not be leaving stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, and other items on their bed that might cause suffocation.
It may also be that we have dangerous items on the market and in our homes, and they need to be removed.
The Safest Place
Parents should be aware that bed-sharing can be potentially dangerous for babies less than 3 months, especially underweight infants. They can be exposed to tobacco and other hazardous substances.
Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, a professor of pediatrics at the Rowan University’s Copper Medical School revealed that bed-sharing is rising among Asian American and black families, the population with the higher rates of sleep-related infant deaths.
To help reduce these problems, the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib, bassinet or play yard in the same room with the parents, not in the same bed.
Babies are safest when sleeping on their backs in their own cribs. These cribs should be free from any toys, pillows, blankets or other loose bedding. If the babies sleep in parent’s bed, the bed should have a firm mattress without any objects like pillows. The bed should also be moved away from the wall.