In 1993, an astonishing 7 out of 8 parents used blankets or soft bedding for their babies when putting them to sleep. With sleep safety campaigns such as the “Back to Sleep” campaign (in which babies are placed on their backs for nap and bedtimes) and “Safe to Sleep” movements (in which babies are put to sleep in cribs instead of in water beds or on couches), the government has attempted to reduce the number of SIDS deaths as well as suffocation and other sleep-related risks. But the results of a new study in Pediatrics compiled by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control shows that even with these campaigns, 55% of babies are still being put to sleep in hazardous conditions, with blankets, soft bedding, and pillows named as common risk factors. Infants of teen mothers showed the greatest risk of sleeping in such conditions (almost 84%), and the study also noted that superfluous bedding use was most prevalent in co-sleeping situations. In lieu of continuing with these soft bedding hazards, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the baby’s room at a comfortable temperature so that no additional covers are needed and providing safe sleepwear, such as one-piece sleepers.

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