Parents still placing babies on their stomach to sleep, despite warnings

By Amanda Stewart,

New research has shown that parents are still placing their children on their stomachs or sides for sleep even though placing babies on their backs has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The government, along with advocacy groups and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all urged parents to have their babies sleep on their backs for the past 20 years, according to NBC News. They say that parents should place their babies on their backs for at least the first year in order to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Despite the warnings, research has found that 30 percent of infants under the age of 1 do not sleep on their backs. The pregnancy term has also shown to be a factor. Two thirds of infants that are born after full term pregnancies sleep on their backs, but premature babies have a lower rate.

“This is very worrisome given the rate of SIDS, which has been stagnant over several years,” Dr. Sunah Hwang, the study’s lead author. The study will be presented at a worldwide pediatrics conference in Vancouver on Saturday.

Just over 2,000 infants died from SIDS in 2010. SIDS, also commonly called crib death, is the label that is given to infants when their autopsy shows no explanation to the death.

According to LiveScience, in some states half of the parents don’t even attempt to follow the guidelines.

Dr. Ari Brown and Hwang say that they would both like NICUs in hospitals to better display the correct sleeping position.

“Maybe we need a celebrity to remind people why this is so important,” says Brown.

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