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Despite Risk, Half of Babies Use Soft Bedding

More than half of families use soft bedding for sleeping infants, despite warnings that the practice is unsafe, a study shows. Soft bedding includes quilts, blankets and pillows. They have been shown to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep-related suffocation. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised against soft bedding for babies since 1996. They should be placed on a firm surface without any objects that might trap air. The bed should be covered only by a fitted sheet. The new study looked at results from a U.S. phone survey on infant sleep habits. It was done each year from 1993 through 2010. Researchers interviewed parents of babies younger than 8 months old. Use of soft bedding dropped from 86% in the first 3 years of the survey to 55% in the last 3 years. Bedding use of was most common among teen mothers (80%).

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