Saturday 24 September 2016

Parents ignoring cot pillow risk

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

Babies should sleep in a cot with no pillows
Babies should sleep in a cot with no pillows

Parents have been warned they may be risking their babies' lives by putting expensive pillows in their cots to stop the back of their heads being flattened.

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A review of parental attitudes found some were ignoring advice about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by letting them sleep with pillows.

Since the 1990s, parents in Ireland and around the world have been advised to put babies to sleep on their backs, in a cot with a flat mattress and no pillows, to avoid SIDS.

This practice has reduced SIDS deaths over time. However, about one in five children now develop a flat area on the back of their head (called plagiocephaly) because babies' skulls are soft and still growing.

For most children, flat head syndrome is mild and not particularly noticeable. But some parents use products that contradict SIDS safe sleeping guidelines, which are as follows:

* always place your baby on their back to sleep;

* place your baby in the 'feet to foot' position (with their feet touching the end of cot).

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