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Urgent warning to all parents of babies as new sleep guidelines published


Updated guidance says the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can be reduced by avoiding co-sleeping and keeping loose items such as soft toys and blankets away

Parents have been given updated advice on how to let their babies sleep safely
Parents have been given updated advice on how to let their babies sleep safely

New guidance advises parents to keep their baby’s sleep area “bare” to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Around 200 tots die every year in the UK from SIDS, with rates remaining steady since a drop in the 1990s following a safe sleeping campaign.

While there is some uncertainty about what causes certain babies to die from the condition, experts say there are steps parents can take to help keep their infant safe.

SIDS typically occurs in the first six months after a baby is born and is often caused by physical factors within the sleeping environment, such as accidental suffocation, The Sun reports.

Having your baby sleep on its back and avoiding bed-sharing are among the tips offered by professionals that can help reduce the risks to infants.







Bumpers and loose items should be avoided
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The latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the first update to guidance since 2016.

Dr Rachel Moon, professor of paediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the lead author of the recommendations, said: “A baby’s death is tragic, heart-breaking and often preventable.

“If we’ve learned anything, it’s that simple is best: babies should always sleep in a crib or bassinet, on their back, without soft toys, pillows, blankets or other bedding.

“The evidence is clear that [bed-sharing] significantly raises the risk of a baby’s injury or death, however, and for that reason AAP cannot support bed-sharing under any circumstances.”

Putting babies to sleep on a flat surface and avoiding bumpers on cribs were also advised.







Sleeping areas should be bare to help prevent suffocation
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There have been previous warnings from experts that bumpers have been linked to 100 infant deaths over the last 30 years.

Soft items such as toys, pillows, blankets and loose bedding should be kept away from the sleep area reduce the risk of common SIDS causes such as suffocation, wedging and strangulation.

The medics behind the report also advise giving your tot regular ‘tummy time’.

Tummy time is when babies are placed on their front for a period of time and can help them to develop the muscles that will eventually help them to control their head, roll over and crawl.







The report strongly advises against co-sleeping with young infants
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By seven weeks old, babies should be having 15 to 30 minutes of supervised tummy time a day whilst they are awake, the report suggests.

The report warns that allowing a baby to sleep on their front can lead to them re-inhaling their own exhaled air as well as risking blocking their airway.

Among other factors that can lead to an increased risk of SIDS are the mother smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Babies who die from SIDS are thought to have trouble regulating their heart rate, breathing, and temperature.

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