New guidelines for
New guidelines for "Sudden Infant death syndrome" : Study

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also referred to as "cot death" is the leading cause of death for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics have set down guidelines to help parents and caregivers protect their infants against such deaths. Rates of suffocation and strangulation among infants during sleep has risen.

"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.

Some of the guidelines recommended are:

  • Placing a baby on his or her back on a firm surface such as a crib or bassinet.
  • The bassinet or crib should be kept free of soft toys or pillows.
  • Avoid exposure of the infant to smoke, drugs or alcohol.
  • Infants should sleep in the same room as their parents as this could reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • The infant should not share the same sleeping surface as parents as this could increase the risk of overlay or a parent rolling on to the child causing suffocation.

Breastfeeding caution is required:

"If you are feeding your baby and think that there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair," said statement co-author Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter.

In the event a mother does fall asleep while breast-feeding, Dr. Feldman-Winter says the infant should be moved to his or her own bed immediately after awake.

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