While SIDS campaigns, like the “Back to Sleep” campaign have reduced the number of sudden infant deaths over the last four years, a recent study shows that there is still a need for continued education.
Presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston, the abstract “Retrospective Review of Sleeping Conditions in Infant Deaths in New Mexico” revealed that the “Back to Sleep Campaign” has helped reduce SIDS deaths by 50%. The study also revealed, however, that there were still 91 infant deaths between 2006 and 2010.
“Despite the success of sleeping awareness campaigns, many of the remaining SIDS cases involve prone sleeping and unsafe sleeping environments, such as bed sharing and infants being put to sleep outside of a crib or bassinet,” Jessica Black, lead author said. “Continued educational efforts on safe sleep practices for infants are essential in the efforts to prevent these infant deaths.”
Of the 91 deaths, 59 were determined to be SIDS/SUID related; 28 were undetermined. Sleeping positions other than supine were noted in 52% of the deaths and 71% of the infants were found sleeping on an unsafe surface.
Sleeping in a shared space was the cause of 50 percent of the total deaths. Cribs were found in the home of 57% of the homes in which shared sleeping was the cause of death. In 30% of the homes a crib was present but the infant had suffered death because of a shared sleeping space, while the crib was being used for a purpose other than sleeping.
As a parent, I understand how hard it can be to remember the importance of a safe sleeping environment and position. When you are short on sleep, it can be easy to fall asleep in bed with baby or simply leave baby in the position they fall asleep in so that you don’t wake them. Safe sleeping, however, is essential to the safety of your infant. Please remember, “back to sleep” and only in a safe sleeping environment (crib or bassinet free of soft items).
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