Know What The Experts Are Saying About Preventing Infant Death

As a mother, your child’s safety is of the utmost concern. There are many a sleepless night throughout your child’s life where you lie awake thinking about all the scary things in the world, and how you can keep your baby from them.

As much as we don’t like it, there are dangers that are out of our control. We keep knives up where children can’t reach, but they may still break their arm on the playground.

Thankfully, there are some vital life-saving measures that can be implemented easily. These steps are to ensure your infant is in a safe sleep environment.

Fox News revealed the devastating statistics on sleep-related infant deaths:

Each year, we lose an estimated 3,500 babies nationwide to sleep-related deaths such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation. Although mothers, fathers and other caregivers can take steps to reduce the risk, new research from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that many are not following recommendations aimed at creating a safer sleep environment.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics set up guidelines to ensure your little one has a good and safe night’s rest:

  • Babies should sleep in their own sleep space. Have the baby share your room, but not your bed. Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.

  • Always place babies on their backs to sleep. Do this for every nap, every night, every time. 

  • Put babies to sleep in a safety-approved crib or bassinet with a firm sleep surface or mattress. Keep all soft objects, including pillows, loose blankets, bumpers and toys out of the baby’s sleep area. 

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, a mother, and newly appointed CDC director is concerned about word spreading on safer sleep practices, she stated, “we must do a better job at dispelling some of the common myths that prevent all babies from having a safe sleep environment.”

One of the primary concerns is that new parents are just mimicking the way their parents or grandparents did things with their children, without checking up to date standards of life-saving practices.

It was more common decades ago for a baby to sleep in any bed available, or for the baby to be “put to sleep on their stomachs due to fears they could spit up and choke”, Dr. Fitzgerald explained.

Through study, and trial and error, it is now known that babies are kept safest through the night on their backs.

Fox News shared why this position is optimal:

This is likely because of airway anatomy. When a baby is on its back, the windpipe – or airway – is on top of the food tube, or esophagus. When a baby is on its stomach, it is easier for the airway to be obstructed if the baby spits up or vomits.”

Premature infants do have a higher risk of SIDS, as well as, other sleep-related deaths, and must be monitored more carefully for proper sleeping arrangement.

When a baby gets old enough to turn over by themselves, you may find that they have a preferred sleeping position.

At this point, many of the concerns of making sure a baby is on his back are eliminated, because your little one can get themselves to a different position if they feel their breathing is compromised.

It is still in your baby’s best interest to apply the other safe sleeping protocols, even if your baby can roll and keep things out of the bed that could inhibit breathing.

The National Institute Of Health explained what these breathing inhibitors can be:

“Never place baby to sleep on soft surfaces, such as on a couch, sofa, waterbed, pillow, quilt, sheepskin, or blanket. These surfaces can be very dangerous for babies. Do not use a car seat, stroller, swing, infant carrier, infant sling or similar products as baby’s regular sleep area. Following these recommendations reduces the risk of SIDS and death or injury from suffocation, entrapment, and strangulation.”

A study in the United States showed that only 55 percent of moms are getting proper advice from professionals, according to Fox News.

Awareness efforts have begun but could use a national boost. A hospital in Georgia has found success in preventing deaths by handing out a safe-sleep book, and a onesie that says “this side up” on the front.

We all want what is best for our babies. Sometimes that means doing things a little differently than we may have done previously.

Enlist the methods proven to give your child a safe start in life. All the bumps and bruises they will get along the way can be dealt with later, for now, it’s about cuddles and kisses.

Share with us in the comments section if you had education from professionals about safe-sleep practices.

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