HealthDay News — In a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published online June 21 in Pediatrics, updated recommendations are presented for a safe infant sleep environment.
Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, and colleagues developed updated evidence-based recommendations for a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk for sleep-related infant deaths.
The recommendations include placing infants to sleep in a supine position for every sleep until the child reaches 1 year of age. Side sleeping is not advised and is not safe. A firm, flat, noninclined sleep surface is recommended to reduce the risk for suffocation or wedging/entrapment. Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and is recommended, unless contraindicated or the parent is unable to do so. Infants should sleep in the parents’ room, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least six months. Soft objects such as pillows, comforters, and loose bedding should be kept away from the infant’s sleep area. A pacifier should be offered at nap time and bed time to reduce the risk for SIDS. Smoke and nicotine exposure and alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and illicit drug use should be avoided during pregnancy and after birth.
“It’s essential for families and pediatricians to partner with each other, to build trust and have thoughtful conversations about how to keep children safe by lowering risks,” a coauthor said in a statement.