Fort Worth, Texas,
14:26 PM

Safe sleep: Young moms, are you listening?

New study says teenage moms ignoring safe-sleep recommendations

The leading cause of death of infants 1 month to 1 years of age is sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), which includes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that the teenage moms who participated are aware about sleep-safe habit recommendations, but ignore what they were told.

The most common reason given for co-sleeping was that “babies sleep better and were safest in bed with them.”

“We see this a lot with teenagers and risk taking behaviors,” said Jamye Coffman, M.D., a child abuse pediatrician and medical director for Cook Children’s Advocacy Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team. “Their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed and they don’t think the bad outcome will happen to them. It is difficult for them to fully understand the potential consequences of their actions.”

Many investigations have tried to pinpoint the reasons why apparently healthy babies die during sleep, but one cause may be the increase in adults sleeping in the same bed with their.

In almost 200 years of research, no single cause of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) has been found. It is now thought that there are a number of possible reasons why apparently healthy babies die unexpectedly. SUID is now broken into two categories:

  • SIDS where a cause of death isn’t identified after a thorough investigation.
  • Accidental suffocation and strangulation.

Of the two types of SUID, accidental suffocation and strangulation is the most common and most preventable cause of sudden unexpected infant death. In rare true SIDS deaths, about 25 percent of deaths are due to a heart rhythm defect, 5 percent are due to metabolic problems, and the rest are due to a combination of factors that likely includes an abnormality in the brain’s breathing center.

Here are the recommended ways to reduce the risk of SUID:

  1. Babies should sleep flat on their back for every sleep time.
  2. Babies should have their own sleep surface with a firm mattress and tight fitting sheet.
  3. Room-share without bed-sharing.
  4. Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months.
  5. Offer a pacifier at every sleep time.
  6. Keep blankets, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals, mobiles, monitors and other humans or animals out of a baby’s sleep environment
  7. Do not use infant positioners such as wedges or pillows. These items are a suffocation hazard and they make reflux worse.
  8. Baby should sleep in a footed onesie or sleep sack.
  9. Swaddling is not necessary and could be harmful. If you must swaddle, make sure you completely stop before your baby is 8 weeks old.
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