The “Back to Sleep” campaign tried to raise awareness on the unsafe sleep environments infants are being put to sleep in.
Despite all the information given by experts, parents are still putting their babies to sleep in ways that could trigger sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,500 children suddenly die in the U.S. each year for no apparent cause.
A new study recorded 160 babies starting one hour before bedtime and continuing throughout the night to see if they have unsafe sleep environments.
Even though the parents knew they were being followed, they still placed their children in unsafe environments. The most common items were stuffed animals, sleep positioners or pillows. Moreover, the crib bumpers which are not permitted in some countries were used by most of the recorded parents.
Researchers mentioned that while babies started their night in a safe sleeping position and environment, by moving them during the nighttime, parents most of the time altered the safe posture.
During the study, 36 percent of 1-month-olds weren’t placed on their backs, and 28 percent shared a bed with a parent at some point during the night.
For the 3-month-olds participating in the study, 22 percent shared a bed with a parent at some point during the night, while 35 percent were placed on their side or stomach.
Parents were advised by specialists to place infants under 12 months of age to sleep on their side or back. After more studies have been made, the recommendation changed to putting babies to sleep only on their back.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly recommends that parents share a room with their babies but not the same bed.
In 1994, the Back to Sleep campaign now known as Safe to Sleep tried to educate parents about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and teach them how to avoid their baby’s risk.
Among infants between 1 and 12 months of age, SIDS is the leading cause of death. Its exact cause is not yet known, but some risk factors have been exposed such as sleeping on soft surfaces or their stomach. Moreover, sleeping in bed with their parents, pets or other children or under loose bedding are also among the causes of SIDS.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), only in 2010, more than 2,000 infants died of SIDS.
Image source: Public Domain