A health expert has advised parents to always place babies on their backs to sleep. She said that this reduced the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Dr Chinwe Ogbonna-Njoku, a Senior Registrar in Paediatrics at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital told PUNCH HealthWise.
What is Sudden Death Syndrome?
This is an unexplained death, usually during sleep. It happens to a seemingly healthy baby less than one-year-old.
In a chat with newsmen, the doctor recommended this procedure to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Dr Ogbonna-Njoku further said that when a baby starts to roll over by themselves, they can be placed on their abdomen to sleep.
Her words, “The current recommendation based on available evidence is that the safest position for babies to sleep is on their backs, rather than on their abdomen or sides because it has been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related deaths”.
“However, when babies are able to roll over by themselves both ways (back to stomach, stomach to back) which most babies achieve by six months, they can then be allowed to sleep on their abdomen.
“Other ways to reduce the risk of SIDS include making sure that babies sleep on a firm mattress, free of soft objects like toys or loose beddings that can increase the risk of suffocation or accidental strangulation.
“Also, babies under one year of age should sleep in the same room with their parents but not on the same bed. Babies should be dressed comfortably at bedtime, avoiding too many layers of clothing which can result in overheating,” she said.
The Child doctor also spoke on smoking during pregnancy. She said that avoidance of smoking and prevention from smokers reduces the risks of SIDS.
“Exclusive breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS in babies,” she added.
Mayo Clinic described SIDs in one of their articles as crib death. This is because infants often die in their cribs.
“Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS might be associated with defects in the portion of an infant’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep,” the portal stated.
Source: PUNCH HealthWise.