In order to safely reduce the risk of sleep related deaths in infants, children are supposed to be raised following some strict and updated guidelines, according to the experts who issued the safe sleeping set of norms.
The instructions recommend mothers to sleep in the same room with their infant, but never in the same bed. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) strongly recommends that babies do sleep in their parents' bedroom for the first half of year of their lives, and even up until the child has reached the age of one, in a perfect scenario.
The issued guidance is published after a series of scientific reviews concerning the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which has started to concern the specialists in the field. The AAP then reinforces the previous instructions to put the babies to sleep next to their mothers' beds, but never in the same bed.
"I think it will reinforce what families want to believe. They want to be close to their children," explained Dannai Harriel, the program manager of Allegheny County's Maternal and Child Health Program.
The program makes efforts in the direction of keeping parents from sharing beds with their children. Moreover, Lori Feldman-Winter of Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey mentioned that, according to the studies, approximately 50 percent of the risk of instant death in infants is reduced following this precaution. The first six months are also the most dangerous, according to her.
Following this recommendation isn't the only AAP guideline released with this update series; exclusive breastfeeding has also been proven to be extremely useful in this matter, lowering the chances of the infants to suffer instant death by approximately 70 percent.
The situation is more important if we take into account that an approximate number of 3,500 children die prematurely in the United States every year — suffering of SIDS or sleep-related accidents, among which suffocation is one of the most common causes. After the "Back to sleep" campaign in 1990s encouraged parents that a safe position for their babies' sleep is on their back, the SIDS rate recorded a sudden increase of approximately 50 percent.
The sleeping position, as well as the materials on which the child is placed and their consistency, are also part of the AAP guidelines. Parents are recommended not to treat their infants as adults, and take all the necessary precautions.
"Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person. We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous," noted Dr. Rachel Moon of the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Virginia and AAP member.