As many as 900 baby deaths every year are attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but they may actually be caused by suffocation from excessive soft bedding. Wednesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission begins a campaign, along with several large retailers, to educate parents about the dangers. The commission's chairman, Ann Brown, visited The Early Show to demonstrate the right way to put your baby to bed.
Since 1994, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned about the danger of soft bedding to babies under 12 months. But when consumers went to stores or browsed through catalogs, they often got a different message. Cribs made up with billowy comforters, quilts and pillows may have encouraged parents to use these items in the crib, which could be deadly.
There are seven guidelines put together by the CPSC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to help parents reduce the risk of SIDS for children under 12 months.
- Place baby on his/her back on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys and other pillow-like soft products from the crib.
- Consider using a sleeper as an alternative to blankets with no other covering.
- If using a blanket, put baby with his or her feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, only as far as the baby's chest.
- Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep.
- Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep.
- Provide a smoke-free environment.
The seven stores that will be working with the CPSC are:
- Babies "R" Us
- JC Penney
- Lands' End
For more information visit the CPSC'S Web site or call their hotline at 1-800-638-8270.
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