Ba­bies should sleep in par­ents’ room for first year: US doc­tors

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

MIAMI: To re­duce the risk of sud­den death, ba­bies should sleep in the same room as their par­ents but in their own crib or bassinet for the first year of life, US doc­tors said yes­ter­day. The new pol­icy state­ment by the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pe­di­atrics still says ba­bies should sleep on their backs, on a clean sur­face free of toys and blan­kets, a guide­line that has been in place since the 1990s and has re­duced sud­den in­fant deaths by about 50 per­cent.

Still, some 3,500 in­fants die each year in the United States from sleep-re­lated deaths, in­clud­ing sud­den in­fant death syn­drome (SIDS) and ac­ci­den­tal suf­fo­ca­tion and stran­gu­la­tion. The main change to the AAP guide­lines, which were last is­sued in 2011, is the spe­cific call for in­fants to stay in their par­ents’ room for six months to a year if pos­si­ble-but not sleep in the same bed. “Par­ents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cush­ioned chair, ei­ther alone or sleep­ing with an­other per­son,” said lead author Rachel Moon. “We know that these sur­faces are ex­tremely haz­ardous.”

‘One never for­gets’

Ex­perts say that urg­ing par­ents to put ba­bies to sleep on their backs in­stead of their bel­lies helped drive down the rate of sud­den in­fant death from 120 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1992 to 56 deaths per 100,000 in 2001 — a 53 per­cent re­duc­tion in one decade. That ad­vice still stands. Deaths from SIDS have plateaued in re­cent years, but it is still the lead­ing killer of ba­bies aged one month to one year.

Chil­dren may be­come en­tan­gled in bed­ding, or suf­fo­cate un­der bumpers or toys, get squeezed in the cor­ner of a couch or arm­chair, get over­heated, or sim­ply stop breath­ing for no ap­par­ent rea­son. “It is noth­ing but tragic,” said Peter Richel, chief of the de­part­ment of pe­di­atrics at North­ern Westch­ester Hospi­tal, who re­mem­bers los­ing two pa­tients in the past 26 years to sud­den in­fant death-a four-month-old boy and a two-week-old girl.

“Of­ten there is noth­ing spe­cial to point to, other than they are just kind of taken away,” he said. “It is some­thing that one never for­gets.” Other risk fac­tors for SIDS in­clude smok­ing in the home, and ex­pos­ing ba­bies to drugs or al­co­hol. Richel said that the new pol­icy means doc­tors will have to change some of their long-held ad­vice. “Many pe­di­a­tri­cians will sug­gest that by two months of age, in­fants go to their own room, and with the use of a mon­i­tor so that you can hear them cry out for a feed­ing,” said Richel. “This really goes against that kind of usual ad­vice, which is fine, be­cause if it saves lives we are all for it.”

Lat­est data

The new pol­icy is de­scribed in a pa­per called, “SIDS and Other Sleep-Re­lated In­fant Deaths: Up­dated 2016 Rec­om­men­da­tions for a Safe In­fant Sleep­ing En­vi­ron­ment,” and will be pre­sented Mon­day at the AAP Na­tional Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion in San Fran­cisco. “The most im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is that the crib should be free of all loose ob­jects that could lead to stran­gu­la­tion or suf­fo­ca­tion,” said Robert Glat­ter, an emer­gency physi­cian at Lenox Hill Hospi­tal, who was not in­volved in the re­search. “This means that a bare en­vi­ron­ment is ul­ti­mately safest.”

The AAP pol­icy also sug­gests plac­ing new­born in­fants skin-to-skin with the mother “im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing birth for at least an hour as soon as the mother is med­i­cally sta­ble and awake.” Breast­feed­ing is rec­om­mended, but moth­ers are urged to move the baby to a sep­a­rate sleep­ing space af­ter­ward. “If you are feed­ing your baby and think that there’s even the slight­est pos­si­bil­ity that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cush­ioned chair,” said co-author Lori Feldman-Win­ter, a member of the Task Force on SIDS. “If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed,” she said.

The high­est risk pe­riod for SIDS comes be­tween the ages one to four months. SIDS is rare in ba­bies older than eight months. Other strate­gies in­clude of­fer­ing a paci­fier at nap time and bed­time, and making sure in­fants get all their rec­om­mended vac­cines. Par­ents are warned against us­ing ex­pen­sive home mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems, as well as wedges that may be mar­keted as re­duc­ing the risk of SIDS. “We know that we can keep a baby safer with­out spend­ing a lot of money on home mon­i­tor­ing gad­gets but through sim­ple pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures,” Moon said. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.