CHICAGO - More than half of Chicago parents are putting their babies at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, according to a new local study.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has found that a majority of Chicago parents do not follow safe sleeping practices for their babies.
"All babies should be placed to sleep on their back on a flat and firm sleep surface and alone in their own sleep space," said Lurie Children’s ER doctor Megan Attridge.
"The mattress can have a fitted sheet, but there should be no other bedding in the sleep area so that includes bumpers, stuffed animals, blankets and other objects," she added.
The study surveyed nearly 700 Chicago families about infant sleep habits. Fifty-eight percent of Chicago parents in the survey reported they had placed their infants in sleeping situations that are known to be unsafe. Some of the behaviors included co-sleeping, putting babies to sleep on their side or stomach, or letting babies under age one sleep with objects in their crib.
Doctors recommend babies sleep in the same room as an adult until they are 6-months-old. Caretakers should also avoid over-bundling infants to prevent overheating, another contributing factor of SIDS.
Doctors recommend giving infants a pacifier.
About 3,500 infants die every year in the U.S. from SIDS, which is an average of nine babies every day.