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Dangers of baby sleep revealed in new study as nearly 70% of infant deaths were due to co-sleeping

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Allowing babies to sleep outside of their crib or dedicated sleep space can pose life-threatening risks.

This is according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Among infants who died suddenly, 59.5% were sleeping with someone else at the time.

About 76% slept in an adult bed and 68.2% shared a bed with an adult, the study found.

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In 68.3% of deaths, soft bedding was found in the sleeping area.

Researchers examined more than 7,500 sudden and unexpected infant deaths in 23 U.S. states between 2011 and 2020.

Baby in a cradle

Allowing babies to sleep outside of their cribs can pose life-threatening risks, according to a recent CDC study. (iStock)

They assessed babies’ sleep environments, demographics and other characteristics.

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at Langone Medical Center of New York and a Fox News medical contributor, joined “Fox & Friends” this week to discuss the dangers associated with unsafe sleep habits.

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Although it may seem “natural” for a child to be in bed with a parent, especially for those new to parenting, these sleeping arrangements can have tragic consequences, the doctor warns.

Of the 1,300 to 1,500 cases of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) each year, nearly three-quarters of them were associated with a child sleeping in a parent’s bed, he noted.

Baby with father

Among the thousands of infants who died in 23 US states between 2011 and 2020, nearly three-quarters shared a bed with an adult, the study found. (iStock)

“You know why? The surface isn’t firm enough,” he says.

“When you sleep, you have a mattress that you want to feel comfortable with, but in the crib, (it should be) a very firm mattress,” he added.

“These are key issues: You don’t want your child sleeping on their stomach when they are very young.”

sleeping baby

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, no loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, plush toys, bumpers or other soft objects should be placed in a child’s sleep space. (iStock)

Previous studies have shown that SIDS has something to do with how the baby exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide, Siegel noted.

“It’s also related to what you do when you’re pregnant,” he said. “You don’t want to smoke, you don’t want to drink alcohol. All of that increases the risk of SIDS.”

It’s safest for babies to sleep on their back or side until they’re a year old, Siegel advises.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has shared specific guidelines on its website for ensuring safe sleep for babies and young children.

Parents and caregivers should place infants on their backs to sleep in their own dedicated sleep space – a crib, cradle or portable play area with a firm, flat mattress and fitted sheet – without any other people in it. this same space.

Swaddled baby sleeping

Parents and caregivers should place infants on their backs to sleep in their own dedicated sleep space, experts advise. (iStock)

Infants should not be put to sleep on a sofa, chair, swing or car seat.

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No loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, stuffed toys, bumpers, or other soft objects should be placed in the child’s sleep space.

The AAP also recommends breastfeeding if possible and that parents avoid smoking to reduce risks.

For more health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

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