According to a new study by Reuters Health, published in a Huffington Post article, over half of babies in America sleep with unsafe bedding such as pillows, blankets and other loose bedding materials.
Despite public health efforts to spread awareness of the risks of unsafe sleep, there is still work to be done in spreading awareness of safe sleep and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
“We have little understanding of how many infants in the U.S. are put into sleeping environments where soft bedding or blankets may be used,” said Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, the study’s lead author and senior scientist in the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health in Atlanta.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be put to sleep on their backs on a firm sleep surface free of soft objects, including pillows, blankets and bumpers. Those recommendations are echoed by the “Safe to Sleep” program from the National Institutes of Health.
“The danger is that thick blankets, quilt or pillows can obstruct the baby’s airway, which would keep them from being able to breathe,” Shapiro-Mendoza said in a phone interview.
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