There is one part of parenting and child care supervision that is very important yet many times overlooked or ignored. The concept of Safe Infant Sleeping Environment has been studied and analyzed by pediatric experts throughout the world. Fortunately, a good bit of the results of this research along with easy to understand recommendations is centralized in a very informative article titled SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. The article was published in the Pediatrics which is the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The article was originally published online on October 17, 2011. Here is a snapshot of the some of the recommendations contained in this article:
1. Infants (under the age of 1) should be placed on the back for sleeping. Side sleeping is not recommended.
2. A firm sleeping surface should be used covered by a proper fitted sheet.
3. Room sharing with an infant (not bed sharing) is recommended.
4. Loose bedding objects and pillows should be kept out of the crib and / or sleeping surface.
5. The use of a pacifier at nap time and bedtime may reduce the incidence of SIDS.
6. Avoid overheating of the child during sleep time and nap time.
7. Avoid commercial devices that are being advertised to reduce the risks of SIDS. These devices incude but are not limited to positional devices, special mattresses, and other items.
8. Do not play your reliance on a cardiorespiratory monitor as a tool to reduce the risks of SIDS. The use of any medical monitoring device should be with child’s pediatrician and specialists (if any).
9. Supervised time and activity to work on strengthening the child’s muscles and mobility like Tummy Time is recommended.
10. Medical care providers and child care providers should be trained in understanding and implementing actions to reduce injuries and SIDS related deaths during sleep time and nap time.
Parents and child care providers would be well served by posting the above 10 tips and recommendations in the home and day care center for all care providers to see, to remember, and implement. In addition, it would be helpful to print out, distribute, and study the article published in Pediatrics as referenced above. Here is another link for your convenience – SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment.
The book titled – Florida Day Care Center Injuries – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – Building Blocks of Knowledge for Parents has chapters on Playground Safety, Indoor Facilities, Sleep and Nap Time, Supervision, Transportation, Staffing, and other topics. You can get this book for free at Florida Day Care Center Injuries.