SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, has many known and unknown causes. Also referred to as crib death, many researchers and pediatricians continue to research the association of SIDS and sleeping environments.
“Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and his colleagues analyzed data on 7,934 sudden infant deaths in 24 states, comparing those that occurred on sofas with those in cribs, bassinets or beds.”
Several studies, including a new analysis by Pediatrics journal, show that a multitude of risk are associated with the increase of couch-related deaths. Among the many factors, one illustrated by Dr. Colvin, is the sheer naivety of the parents.
There’s a “fallacy that if I’m awake or watching, SIDS won’t happen,” Dr. Colvin said, referring to sudden infant death syndrome. In the study, most parents shared the sofa with an infant they had placed there. But sleep-deprived parents may be more likely than they think to fall asleep on the couch with their newborns. Some sofas slope toward the back cushions, making it easier for infants to get wedged where they cannot breathe.
The main issue found by doctors and researchers, included Dr. Eve R. Colson, a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, is the soft cushion of the couch. An infant on their stomach may have trouble breathing without knowledge to the parent. Doctors such as Dr. Otsfield and Dr. Colvin, urge parents to put their babies to sleep, on their backs, in a crib – no matter the circumstances.
Many parents think for safety, ‘I’ll put the baby between myself and the back of the sofa.’ ” She added: “The unplanned and unexpected happens. The grief is beyond painful and endures for a lifetime.”
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