Shar­ing bed with baby very risky

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Par­ents are be­ing warned that shar­ing the bed with their baby may be far riskier than orig­i­nally thought.

Newly re­leased re­search shows that bed shar­ing leads to a five-fold in­crease in the risk of Sud­den In­fant Death Syn­drome (Sids) for young ba­bies whose par­ents do not smoke.

There has long been agree- ment that sleep­ing with a baby in­creases the risk of Sids if the par­ents smoke, or if the mother has been tak­ing drugs or drink­ing al­co­hol.

But there has been con­flict­ing opin­ion whether bed shar­ing pre­sented a risk to the baby when th­ese fac­tors were not present.

Ed Mitchell from the Univer­sity of Auck­land ini­ti­ated the study and says that if par­ents were made aware of the risks of sleep­ing with their baby there could be a sub­stan­tial re­duc­tion in Sids rates.

In New Zealand more than 50 per cent of deaths oc­cur while par­ents slept in the same bed as their baby.

‘‘More par­ents need to know the risks from bed shar­ing, es­pe­cially for ba­bies un­der 3 months,’’ Pro­fes­sor Mitchell says.

The study says ba­bies can be brought into the bed for com­fort­ing but should be in a cot next to the bed for sleep.

The univer­sity study is the largest of its kind – re­searchers ex­am­ined in­di­vid­ual records of 1472 Sids cases and 4679 con­trol cases in five ma­jor stud­ies.

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