Posts Tagged ‘ infant sleep ’

Sleep-Related Death and Babies: Risk Factors Vary by Age, Study Finds

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Sleeping BabyHow safe is your baby’s sleep?

A new study examined the biggest sleep risks for babies under 1 year of age and found that younger and older infants faced different risk factors for sleep-related deaths. In the study, which was published online today in the journal Pediatrics, researchers analyzed more than 8,000 sleep-related infant deaths from 24 states between 2004 and 2012. Of those deaths, the study found that for infants up to 4 months of age, the biggest risk factor for sleep-related death was bed-sharing with either a parent or pet. In fact, in roughly 74 percent of the cases studied, the infants had been bed-sharing at the time of their death. About 50 percent of those cases happened when the child was sleeping in an adult bed or on a person.

But for infants ages 4 months to 1 year, the largest risk factor associated with death was different: rolling into objects, including blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, and bumpers, during sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their care providers, but not in the same bed. The crib or bassinet should be within arm’s reach, free of any loose items, including toys and soft bedding, and covered with a fitted sheet.

Despite those safe-sleep recommendations, a whopping 73 percents of the 4,500 respondents in a recent American Baby magazine survey admitted they placed at least one item the crib with their baby.

Baby Care Basics: What is SIDS?
Baby Care Basics: What is SIDS?
Baby Care Basics: What is SIDS?

Babyproofing Your Home: Crib
Babyproofing Your Home: Crib
Babyproofing Your Home: Crib

Image: close-up portrait of a sleeping baby via Shutterstock

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Some Infant White Noise Machines Could Pose Hearing Risk

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Some infant sleep machines, which produce sounds that are intended to soothe babies to sleep, may, if set at their highest volumes, damage babies’ hearing, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics.  More from The New York Times:

Infant sleep machines emit white noise or nature sounds to drown out everyday disturbances to a baby’s sleep. The machines, sometimes embedded in cuddly stuffed animals, are popular gifts at baby showers and routinely recommended by parenting books and websites.

Some sleep experts advise parents to use these noisemakers all night, every night, to ensure the best rest for a newborn. Many parents say their babies become so used to the sounds of rainfall or birds that they will not nap without them.

Researchers at the University of Toronto evaluated 14 popular sleep machines at maximum volume and found they produced between 68.8 to 92.9 decibels at 30 centimeters, about the distance one might be placed from an infant’s head. Three exceeded 85 decibels, the workplace safety limit for adults on an eight-hour shift for accumulated exposure as determined by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. One machine was so loud that two hours of use would exceed workplace noise limits.

At 100 centimeters, all the machines tested were louder than the 50-decibel limit averaged over an hour set for hospital nurseries in 1999 by an expert panel concerned with improving newborn sleep and their speech intelligibility.

“These machines are capable of delivering noise that we think is unsafe for full-grown adults in mines,” said Dr. Blake Papsin, the senior author of the paper and the chief otolaryngologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. Dr. Papsin got the idea for this study after a parent brought a portable white noise machine to the hospital that sounded as roaring as a carwash.

“Unless parents are adequately warned of the danger, or the design of the machines by manufacturers is changed to be safer, then the potential for harm exists, and parents need to know about it,” said Dr. Gordon B. Hughes, the program director of clinical trials for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, who was not involved in the study.

Safe use is possible, the study’s authors suggest. “Farther away is less dangerous, a lower volume is better and shorter durations of time, all things that deliver less sound pressure to the baby,” Dr. Papsin said.

Image: Sleeping newborn, via Shutterstock

Find out when your child will hit all her major milestones with our Baby Milestone Tracker.

Baby Sleep: The Importance of Self-Soothing
Baby Sleep: The Importance of Self-Soothing
Baby Sleep: The Importance of Self-Soothing

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Bassinets and Cradles Get New Federal Safety Standards

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new safety standards for cradles and bassinets, designed to prevent deaths and injuries that can happen in poorly constructed versions.  More than 130 children died between 2007 and 2013 because of faulty bassinets and cradles, and the CPSC is aware of 426 incidents involving them.  The new guidelines include:

  1. a clarification of the scope of the bassinet/cradle standard;
  2. a change to the pass/fail criterion for the mattress flatness test;
  3. an exemption from the mattress flatness requirement for bassinets that are less than 15 inches across;
  4. the addition of a removable bassinet bed stability requirement; and
  5. a change to the stability test procedure, requiring the use of a newborn CAMI dummy rather than an infant CAMI dummy.

The new standards, which define “bassinet or cradle” as a small bed designed primarily to provide sleeping accommodations for infants, supported by free standing legs, a stationary frame or stand, a wheeled base, a rocking base, or swing relative to a stationary base. In a stationary (non-rocking or swinging) position, a bassinet/cradle is intended to have a sleep surface less than or equal to 10 degrees from horizontal.  Bassinets and cradles are not meant to be used past the age of 5 months.

A major impetus behind the new guidelines is the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  Check your own sleep safety habits by reading this article by Parents.com’s health director:  The Safe-Sleep Rules Parents Break

Image: Bassinet, via Shutterstock

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Bed-Sharing on the Rise Despite Warnings

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

A growing number of families are bed-sharing, or having their infants and young children sleep in bed with their parents, despite warnings from health experts that the practice increases the chances that a baby could die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, or entanglement.  A new government-funded study shows that bed-sharing has doubled over the past 17 years. More from USA Today:

The increase was most notable among African-American infants, according to the study reported Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Overall, the percentage of nighttime caregivers who reported that an infant usually shared a bed rose from 7% in 1993 to 14% in 2010. Among black infants the proportion increased from 21% to 39%. Among white infants, it rose from 5% to 9%. Among Hispanic infants, it rose from 13% to 21%.

“The disparity in nighttime habits has increased in recent years,” said lead author Eve Colson of the Yale University School of Medicine in a statement. “Because African-American infants are already at increased risk for SIDS, this trend is a cause for concern.”

Advice from physicians could significantly reduce infant bed-sharing, also known as co-sleeping, for all families, finds the survey of nearly 20,000 caregivers conducted by researchers with the National Institutes of Health and others. Caregivers who perceived physicians’ attitude as against sharing a bed were about 34% less likely to report that the infant usually shared a bed than were caregivers who received no advice.

To reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related dangers, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing babies to sleep in the same room as the caregiver, but not in the same bed.

Image: Bed-sharing family, via Shutterstock

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Baby Sleep Positioners Deemed Dangerous by CPSC

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Federal officials from two agencies are warning that “baby sleep positioners,” mat- or wedge-shaped bolsters that are supposed to encourage babies to sleep on their backs, are actually quite dangerous and are responsible for at least 13 deaths in the past 15 years. The New York Times has more:

“We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners,” Inez Tenenbaum, the chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in a statement.

The sleep positioner devices come primarily in two forms. One is a flat mat with soft bolsters on each side. The other, known as a wedge-style positioner, looks very similar but has an incline, keeping a child in a very slight upright position.

Makers of the devices claim that by keeping infants in a specific position as they sleep, they can prevent several conditions, including acid reflux and flat head syndrome, a deformation caused by pressure on one part of the skull. Many are also marketed to parents as a way to help reduce a child’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, which kills thousands of babies every year, most between the ages of 2 months and 4 months.

But the devices have never been shown in studies to prevent SIDS, and they may actually raise the likelihood of sudden infant death, officials say. One of the leading risk factors for sudden infant death is placing a baby on his or her stomach at bedtime, and health officials have routinely warned parents to lay babies on their backs. They even initiated a “Back to Sleep” campaign in the 1990s, which led to a sharp reduction in sudden infant deaths.

With the positioner devices, if an infant rolls onto the stomach, the child’s mouth and nose can press up against a bolster or some other part of the device, leading to suffocation. Even if placed on the back, a child can move up or down in the positioner, “entrapping its face against a bolster or becoming trapped between the positioner and the crib side,” Gail Gantt, a nurse consultant with the Food and Drug Administration, said in an e-mail. Or the child might scoot down the wedge in a way that causes the child’s mouth and nose to press into the device.

Image: Sleeping baby, via Shutterstock

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