Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, should always be taken seriously by anyone and everyone that has a baby, or is dealing with a small child. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes how many dangers are out there and oftentimes don’t know that certain things such as baby blankets can be quite damaging and lethal.
CBS News reports that many children in the United States sleep with pillows, or baby blankets, or even bedding that may lead to the child’s suffocation. These items could, in turn, lead to sudden infant death syndrome even if a parent or guardian follows all guidelines and regulations for safe practice.
Looking all the way back to 1993, seven of eight parents were using blankets or some kind of soft bedding for their babies. Over the years, that number declined greatly, but by 2010, more than half of parents were still guilty of the issue.
A study published by the National Institutes of Health and Federal Centers for Disease on December 1 showed that the practice is most commonly used by young mothers, Hispanics, and African-Americans.
US News has reported that about 16 out of every 100,000 babies died from accidental suffocation during sleep. In 2010, 53 per 100,000 died from sudden infant death syndrome. The total for the year of children dying via SIDS in 2010 was around 2,000.
“Soft bedding has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS. Soft objects and loose bedding — such as thick blankets, quilts and pillows — can obstruct an infant’s airway and impose suffocation risk,” said lead author Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, a senior scientist in the Maternal and Infant Health Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of late 2014, nearly 55 percent of infants across the United States are being put to bed with some sort of comforter or soft blanket. Oddly enough, some parents have even admitted that they realize the dangers or know the chances of sudden infant death syndrome yet still don’t change their ways.
“I was startled a little bit by the number of people still using bedding in the sleep area,” said Dr. Michael Goodstein, a neonatologist in York, Pennsylvania, who serves on a task force on sleep-related infant deaths at the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Sleeping face down on soft bedding increases the risks of SIDS 21-fold.”
Parents are said to get a lot of mixed messages from other parents, TV commercials, and even some doctors. Oftentimes, parents may receive a blanket or fluffy comforter from a relative and feel obligated to use it.
This is why it’s actually a good idea for even those without children to know the dangers of sudden infant death syndrome and realize what items are not safe for babies. Dr. Goodstein had a great suggestion for letting someone know you want to do something nice for them and their child.
“If you want to show people how much you care, decorate the room,” said Dr. Goodstein.
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