Recent study confirms danger of sharing beds

A recent American Academy of Pediatrics study confirms the danger of infants sharing beds with adults. In a study of 8,207 sleep-related deaths, 69 percent were bed sharing at the time of death.

The academy offers the following guidelines for parents about how to create a safe sleep environment for infants.

Place your baby on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. For more about crib safety standards, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.

Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free.

Don't place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows or cushions.

Toys and other soft bedding, including fluffy blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads, and wedges should not be placed in the crib with the baby. Loose bedding, such as sheets and blankets, should not be used as these items can impair the infant's ability to breathe if they are close to his face. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.

Parents also need to share these guidelines with baby's caregiver. About one in five SIDS deaths occurs while children are in the care of someone other than a parent.

For more information, visit http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx.