Bed sharing can prove fatal for infants: Study

This apparently common day practice signifies love and bonding with the little one. Parents tend to sleep with their infants to provide the feeling of security.

These parents would stop doing so if the get to know the findings of a latest study which suggests that this practice of bed sharing would do more harm than good to their offspring.

To keep it simple and straight; sharing of beds with infants have been linked to sudden infant death.

Ironically, the instances of parents or sibling sharing the bed with the infant are on the rise despite public awareness massages highlighting the disadvantages of the same.

The study reveals that even if the doctors talked about the risks of sleeping with the infant, people would ensure that the child sleeps on a separate bed. Unfortunately, pediatricians talk at length about good eating habits, importance of physical exercises and scores of do’s and don’ts on good health, but give the issue of bed sharing a miss.

Practice of bed sharing on the rise
In 1993, seven percent of the parents slept with the little one and did not let her sleep alone in the crib. This proportion rose to 14 percent by 2010, reveal various government surveys. This increase was primarily amongst blacks and Hispanics.

“That’s a concern because we know that blacks are at increased risk for SIDS,” said study co-author Marian Willinger of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

SIDS refers to unexplained deaths in the first year of life. In 2010, nearly 2000 infants in the United States died of SIDS.

“We want to eliminate as many risks as we can for everybody, particularly in that population where we’re seeing increasing disparities,” added Willinger.

Bed sharing has its share of benefits; it is easier for the mother to breastfeed the child at any point of time. Moreover bed sharing may not be the only cause of SIDS. There are other sleep-related causes that can lead to death including accidental suffocation and entrapment in bedding.

Findings of the latest study have been published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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