AAP: New Guidelines Issued for SIDS, Sleep-Related Deaths

Additions include recommending breast-feeding, immunization, not using bumpers in crib

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), infants should be breast-fed, receive all immunizations, and bumper pads should not be used in their cribs, according to a policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online Oct. 17 in Pediatrics to coincide with its presentation at the annual conference of the AAP, held from Oct. 15 to 18 in Boston.

Rachel Moon, M.D., from the AAP SIDS task force, and colleagues updated the AAP's 1992 safe sleep for babies guidelines to provide global recommendations for education and safety to reduce all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS.

The authors reported three additions to existing recommendations: infants should be breastfed, receive all recommended vaccinations, and bumper pads should not be used in their cribs. Other recommendations included placing babies on their back for every sleep time, on a firm surface, without covering the infant's head or overheating. Babies should share a room but not a bed with parents, and should be offered a pacifier at bed and nap time. No soft objects or loose bedding should be used in the crib. Use of wedges and positioners, home monitors, or commercial devices should be avoided. Babies should be placed on their tummy under supervision when awake. Women should have regular prenatal care and avoid smoking during pregnancy and after giving birth.

"There needs to be more education for health care providers and trainees on how to prevent suffocation deaths and to reduce SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths," Moon said in a statement.

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