Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES--To prevent babies from suffocating on soft bedding, put infants less then a year old to bed on their backs dressed in sleepers rather than using blankets, a New Mexico State University child development specialist said.
"We do know, based on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome research, that we need to continue putting our babies to bed on their backs, and to make sure there's nothing else in the bed with them," said Diana DelCampo with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. Since parents have been advised to put babies on their back to sleep, the number if SIDS deaths has dramatically decreased, she said.
DelCampo's advice is based on recently revised infant safety recommendations from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, American Academy of Pediatrics and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Although blankets, pillows and toys commonly given at baby showers are fun to look at, they don't belong in an infant crib, DelCampo said. Babies put to sleep on their stomachs have been found dead with soft bedding covering their faces. Some infants have been found dead with their heads covered by soft bedding even while sleeping on their backs, she said.
"If you're worried about keeping the baby comfortable, they make infant sleepers for both summer and winter," she said.
Babies under one year should be put to bed on their backs in a crib that meets current safety standards, DelCampo said. Make sure it has a firm, tight-fiting mattress.
Never place the baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep because of the risk of suffocation, she said.
Keep the baby's head uncovered during sleep.
Parents can read about safe bedding practices for infants by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission's World Wide Web site at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpubs/softbed1.html", DelCampo added. The information also is available in Spanish at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/spanish/softbeds.html.
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