The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is on the rise in the US. Experts have revealed that around 3500 babies lose their lives due to SUID each year in the country. As per the officials of the CDC, SUID is the leading cause of death among those who are in the age range of 1 month to 1 year in the US. A review by experts has shown that a SUID death might be due to choking via airway blockage or entangling in bedding or blanket, infection, choking injury, and cardiac or metabolic damage. Experts have said that at times when the death of an infant cannot be explained, it is considered due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The officials have been spreading public health messages to prevent SUID-related deaths in the country for decades. However, the number of such deaths is increasing in the country. Dr. Rachel Moon, who is the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics task force on SIDS, has said that such things are happening to well-informed parents as well. She has written the AAP policy statement on safe infant sleep. Dr. Rachel Moon has said that the US has continued to have the same rate of sleep-linked deaths since 1998. As per the report, the rate of sleep-related deaths is higher in the US as compared to most developed nations and some developing countries as well.
Experts have found that making infants sleep on their back on a firm crib is linked to the lowest risk of sleep-related deaths in the 1990s. A massive public awareness campaign has been launched in 1994 to educate parents to make their babies sleep on their back and not their stomachs. This campaign has been named Back to Sleep. Experts have said that parents should avoid using soft bedding and blankets in the crib. They have said parents should avoid keeping crib bumpers, decorative items, and toys where babies sleep. A new study has been conducted on 5000 infants who have lost their lives between 2011 and 2017. The team of experts has found that around 70 percent of babies who have been included in this study have been sleeping in an unsafe atmosphere according to the AAP safe-sleep guidelines. As per the report, these infants have been sleeping on soft bedding, blankets along with decorative items, and toys. Dr. Moon has said that soft bedding is generally defined by blankets, pillows, and bumper pads. Dr. Rachel Moon also heads the general pediatrics at the University of Virginia. She has not been involved in the study. She has said that bed-sharing is restricted due to the presence of blankets and pillows. As per the expert, couches, chairs, and such beds can be very risky as they are plush and soft.
Health experts have said that there are many unsafe sleeping postures that parents are unaware of. Many parents concentrate on the sleeping position of their babies but they do not consider eliminating risk factors such as soft blankets, bedding, couches, bumpers, and pillows, which is very crucial. The new study has shown that 75 percent of infants have died due to airway blockage via soft bedding. The cause of 1 to 2 percent of deaths has not been established yet, however, there has been no unsafe sleeping factor linked to these deaths. Dr. Moon has said that babies should be lying on their back in the crib, bassinet, or flat and firm surface that is closed to parents. There should be a thin tight-fitting sheet and the baby in the crib. She has said that a baby who is lying on his or her back in the crib with no soft bedding pillows and cushions is the safest. According to the AAP safe-sleep guidelines, babies should always be sleeping on their back until they are 1 year old. It applies to those babies as well who are dealing with gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. Experts have said that if babies have fallen asleep in a car seat, stroller, swing, or sling, they should be moved to a firm and flat surface immediately. There should be no decorative items, toys, bumper pads, soft pillows, or bedding in the crib. Parents should be careful that babies should never be sleeping on a couch, sofa, or armchair.