Parents ignore safe sleeping warnings, putting newborns at risk

What parents need to know about safe sleeping

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – As many as 3 infants die every month in Louisville because they weren’t put to bed safely. Despite education and warnings, a new study shows parents still aren’t taking the steps they should to keep their newborns safe.

The study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a majority of parents aren’t listening to warnings. The study used cameras to follow about 150 families for several months.  It found as many as 21 percent of babies slept in an unsafe place, 33 percent were placed in unsafe positions at some point in the study, and 93 percent fell asleep with items around them that could be deadly.

“I originally had a bumper in the crib, and woke up and night when she was three weeks old, to some noises thinking it was time for her to eat,” Galina Goldentul explained. She says it wasn’t her daughter needing to eat, but was instead her trying to breath: her face was pinned to the cloth bumper in the crib. “That bumper went out of the crib that night.”

The mother says she’s done things differently with her second child. “I made sure there was nothing in the crib at all, other than white noise that I put on the outside of the crib.”

And she has the right idea, when it comes to what should be in the crib, boring is best.

“Alone, on their back, in a safe crib. No diaper bag, no stack of diapers, no toys, no pillows, no blankets of any kind. All you want is a safe place for your baby to sleep on their back,” Erika Janes with Children’s Hospital explained. She says parents should be especially careful with bumper pads.

“Even the mesh ones that are being sold and labeled as safe haven’t been on the market long enough to actually be marketed as safe.”

Janes says having your newborn sleep in the same room with you is a great way to check on them while they sleep, but they should never sleep in the same bed with you.

“There is not a safe co-sleeper, the ones that come, it looks like a little box that you put in the bed with you, the sides are not that rigid, but the point is, you have blankets and pillows and arms in the bed, you don’t need that. Again the baby needs their separate environment to sleep in,” explained the safety expert. She says be careful, just because something is marketed for babies doesn’t mean it’s safe.

“You want to theme your room, and you want it to all look cute and coordinated, and when you get around to buying all this, well of course it’s easier to buy the set that comes with the bumper and all these add-ons like a little pillow that comes with it sometime,” Goldentul said.

Janes says another contributor to Sudden Infant Death (SIDs) is cigarette smoke. “Nicotine affects the arousal system in the baby’s brain, it makes it harder for them to wake up, harder for them to literally arouse and if in fact that baby gets in a compromising situation, with their face up against a pillow, or a bumper pad, or an arm, that baby is not going to stir as easily as a baby in a non-smoking environment.”


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