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Soft Bedding Can Be Fatal

March 13, 2016
Plain English Version

soft beddingMore than half of the infants in America go to sleep under soft blankets or comforters. That sounds nice, but it is not. It is dangerous. This finding comes from a federal study.

Using soft bedding increases the chance of infants dying from suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A doctor said, “Sleeping face down on soft bedding increases the risks of SIDS 21-times.”

Over the years, the use of soft bedding has declined. However, more than other parents, black and Hispanic parents continue to cover their infants with soft bedding. These families say that they worry that their babies will be cold. They also say crib mattresses are too hard.

A pediatrician who worked on the study said a soft blanket should not be used under an infant or over one. Some parents get the wrong message. They get comforters as baby gifts and hence assume they are safe. They may have seen advertisements with a baby sleeping on a pillow.

The safest way for a baby to sleep is on his or her back. The safest place to sleep is in a crib or bassinet. Experts say never place a baby to sleep on an adult bed or sofa. The baby’s sleep surface should be firm and covered by a fitted sheet. Do not use other bedding. Properly sized sleep sacks are acceptable. Babies do not get tangled in the sacks.

The study is about sleep. But one doctor called it a “wake-up call.”

Source: The New York Times December 1, 2014

Source: The New York Times December 1, 2014

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