AAP releases new guidelines on preventing SIDS

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The group has updated their recommendations on keeping infants safe

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new guidance on sleeping conditions for infants, discouraging co-sleeping and keeping any items around the baby’s crib.

The AAP’s baby sleeping guidelines, which have not been updated in five years, have found a correlation between items in cribs and suffocation and SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome.

They have also added to their guidance that not only should infants sleep on their back every night until they are at least one year old, but they should also be placed on “a firm, non-inclined sleep surface.” However, they say cribs should not include any crib bumpers or liners.

The group warns against any inclines in a baby’s crib because it can lead to complications, such as allowing infants to raise their head and roll onto their side. When an infant sleeps on their side, they are at a higher risk for “muscle fatigue and potential suffocation.”

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While the AAP has firmly and completely discouraged co-sleeping — sharing a bed with an infant — they still encourage room-sharing between guardians and their small infants, saying “It is recommended that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parents’ bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants.” They went on to say room-sharing can decrease the possibility of SIDS by 50%.

Approximately 3500 infants die each year from sleeping-related causes according to the AAP, saying “The rates of sleep-related deaths are highest in the first six months.”

The AAP has been conducting this research since 2015, combing through literature explaining the circumstances behind different SIDS and infant suffocation cases.

Lastly, the AAP recommends always keeping an infant’s crib, bassinet or play yard within arm’s reach to keep the baby safe and the guardian’s peace of mind intact.

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