In the new work, scientists from the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) looked at about 5,000 cases of sudden and unexpected infant deaths that occurred in the United States from 2011 to 2017. The reason for 82% of them remained unexplained.
For most of the deaths that were included in the study, there was a detailed description of the circumstances. Scientists found that about 70% of children who died slept in conditions that did not meet the safety guidelines proposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Among children whose cause of death could not be explained, less than 2% slept in completely safe conditions.
Deaths, which were listed as explained (18%), in about three quarters of cases were associated with the blockage of the child’s airways with soft bedding. In 13% of cases, asphyxia was a suspected but not established cause of death.
“As for soft bedding, these are usually blankets, pillows and soft bumpers. Parents and children sleeping together rarely go without pillows and blankets, ”Rachel Moon, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Working Group on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, who was not involved in the study, told CNN.
She added that beds and sofas themselves can be dangerous due to the softness of the upholstery. According to Moon, parents often attach great importance to the position in which the child sleeps, but forget about the soft bed.