A recent study from Boston Children’s Hospital has found a link between Sudden Infant Death and brain stem abnormalities. This study found that babies with these abnormalities, died suddenly and unexpectedly in unsafe as well as safe sleeping environments.
Healthy babies will rouse from sleep when they are inhaling too much carbon dioxide. When babies have brainstem abnormalities they may not rouse, and their breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature control are impeded.
More research is needed to determine ahead of time what babies are at risk, but in the meantime, all babies need to sleep in a safe environment and parents and caregivers need to follow the safe to sleep guidelines:
Babies are to be placed in their crib on their back.
Babies should sleep on a firm mattress.
There should be no bumper pads, pillows, stuffed animals or loose bedding in a baby’s bed.
A baby’s head should never be covered.
Babies sleeping environment should be well ventilated and kept at a temperature between 68-70 degrees.
Babies should not co-sleep.
Babies should never sleep on a couch or chair.
Babies should not be exposed to smoke.
For added protection, pacifiers are advised up to the age of one year.
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