New guidelines to prevent SIDS - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New guidelines to prevent SIDS

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About 3,500 babies die every year from sleep related deaths. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics is issuing new recommendations for safe sleep for infants.

Jessica Swinson and her fiance make sure their two month-old baby girl Malia is close by for bedtime. "So we can see her, keep an eye on her, listen to her breathing," Swinson said.

And that's right in step with new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help decrease the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep related deaths.  The group recommends infants share their parents bedroom for at least the first six-months of life and ideally for the first year. "The studies that were done looking at the reduction in risk of SIDS really were done throughout the first year of life, and we know that reduction can be as much as 50-percent," said Cooper University Hospital's Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, the guideline's author.

The recommendations continue to remind parents that babies should be placed on their back to sleep, on a firm mattress in the crib or bassinet, and there should be no bumpers, blankets, pillows or toys.

Dr.Feldman-Winter says breastfeeding is also recommended. "Exclusive breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 70-percent," she said.

Also recommended:

  • Offer a pacifier at naps and bedtime
  • Do not use monitors or devices marketed to reduce SIDS
  • And babies should get plenty of supervised awake tummy time to promote development.

Malia's parents are doing everything they can to keep her safe, including giving her her own space. "We never let her sleep in the same bed as us -- It's just too dangerous,"  Swinson said.

That way everyone sleeps better, but only for three to four hours at a time. 

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