The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health have had the recommendation that babies should be placed on their backs to sleep since the 1990s
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 11, 2012
As a Sleep Specialist, Dr. Dan Naim is familiar with ways to reduce sleep-related causes of infant death, although he says, in many instances, it cannot be prevented. October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, and Dr. Naim provides guidelines for how to make a safe sleep environment for babies.
The cause of SIDS remains unknown, but there are factors which can contribute to a higher risk of death from SIDS, including sleeping in a prone position such as on the stomach. Statistics gathered by the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand show the risk of death is seven to eight times higher for infants placed on their stomachs when they are used to being placed on their backs to sleep.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health have had the recommendation that babies should be placed on their backs to sleep since the 1990s,” said Dr. Naim. “That doesn’t mean babies can never be placed on their stomach, because ‘tummy time’ can be useful during daily activities to help build up muscles in the neck and shoulders, and prevents flat spots on the back of the head.”
The National Institute of Health announced in September that the U.S. National Campaign to reduce the risk of SIDS would encompass all sleep-related, sudden unexpected infant deaths. The Safe to Sleep Public Education Campaign started in 1994 (originally named Back to Sleep Campaign) with the main advisement that babies should be placed on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS while sleeping. The Safe to Sleep Campaign aims to educate parents, caregivers, and health providers about how to lessen the risk of SIDS and common sleep-related reasons for infant death.
"In recent years, we've learned that many of the risk factors for SIDS are similar to those for other sleep-related causes of infant death," said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute which sponsors Safe to Sleep. "Placing infants on their backs to sleep and providing them with a safe sleep environment for every sleep time reduces the risk for SIDS as well as death from other causes, such as suffocation.”
Some of the recommendations of NIH include dressing babies in a “onesie” or a wearable blanket so they can keep warm while asleep. Other advisements include not putting loose bedding, blankets, or pillows in with the baby, which can impair the baby’s ability to breathe.
To read more about how to create a safe sleep environment for infants, visit the Safe to Sleep Public Education Campaign website at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS/.
Dr. Dan I. Naim is Board-Certified in the fields of Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Pulmonary Medicine. He completed medical school at the Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to fellowship-training in Internal Medicine at the UCLA-VA Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Naim completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Naim states that his interest in sleep medicine grew as he learned how the role of disturbed sleep could not only impair the quality of someone’s life, but also lead to extensive health problems. His time working in critical care has also shown him how a sleep disorder can lead to hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Unit if the disorder is left untreated. He believes deeply in patient care and education and fostering a partnership with his patients in order for them to achieve the best medical care possible.
About Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute
Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute has a team of highly trained specialists who use the most advanced medical technologies available to effectively diagnose sleep disorders. The team of dedicated professionals treats snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep-related problems in a comfortable, professional and friendly environment. To learn more, call (818) 343-1569 or visit http://www.sleepstudyla.com.