A new report shows that some moms are putting their infants to sleep in an unknowingly unsafe environment.
"Lots of African American moms put soft bedding such as pillows and blankets where babies sleep, despite warnings that the cushioning increases the risk of infant death," according to a new study .
Many parents think that a soft sleeping environment means the baby will be more comfortable or will be protected from injuries, said Dr. Rachel Moon to news reports.
"There's this impression that soft is safe," said Moon, one of the authors of the new study from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
"But when it comes to babies' sleep environment, soft is not safe, it's actually dangerous."
Researchers know that black babies are at least twice as likely as white, Latino, and Asian babies to die of accidental suffocation, strangulation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) -- also known as "crib death." While some of that higher incidence may be related to genetics, much of it is probably due to parents unknowingly putting infants in a dangerous sleeping place or position, Moon said.
To find out whether black families know about the risks, Moon and her colleagues conducted one-on-one interviews and small group discussions with 83 black mothers in D.C. and Maryland with a new baby at home.
The researchers asked women if they used soft bedding and bumper pads in their baby's crib or other sleeping location -- and why or why not.
More than of half of the moms reported using soft bedding for their baby, according to findings published in Pediatrics. They told researchers they wanted to make sure the kids were comfortable and warm, or that they used pillows as a barricade on beds and sofas, or to prop babies up.
As a Sumter personal injury attorney, I think this study is important to remind moms of safe sleeping habits for infants. As a personal injury lawyer in Sumter, I urge parents to listen to this advice to keep their babies safe.