Other possible causes of death associated with a baby's sleep position include suffocation.
Although many parents know that it's safest for babies to sleep on their backs, a new study found that a majority of moms fail to consistently follow this advice every single time they put their baby to sleep.
Since 1994, the Safe to Sleep campaign has been telling both caregivers and parents that the supine position should always be the one chosen when the sleeping-time comes for their babies.
From a total of 3297 mothers examined, 77.3 percent knew that a baby needs to sleep in a supine position to avoid SIDS or any other health risk.
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"What was new and hadn't been explored before was this idea of what people meant to do versus what they actually do", the study's co-author, Dr. Eve Colson, said, according to CNN. According to News Medical, rates of infants sleeping on their back increased from 10% to 78% over the next 10 years, and the rate of SIDS dropped by 53%.
"While families may intend to place infants on the back to sleep and may eventually do so, they do not always follow these recommendations", Colson said by e-mail.
According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, only 44 percent of parents are putting their baby to sleep in the expert-recommended position, aka on their backs.
Mothers who were African-American or didn't complete high school were more likely to put babies to sleep on their stomachs.
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There were about 3,700 sudden unexpected infant deaths in the United States in 2015, according to the CDC.
While 58% of the mothers said they meant to put infants down on their backs all the time, only 44% said they followed through each time their baby went to sleep. Some parents still do favor putting babies to bed on their tummies, and there is evidence that rates of back-sleeping are declining among black families, said Dr. Michael Goodstein, a neonatologist in York, Penn. who was interviewed by CBS and who co-wrote an editorial published with the study.
To prevent SIDS, along with putting young infants to sleep on their backs, the AAP also encourages breastfeeding, pacifier use and firm crib mattresses while advising against blankets, pillows and bed sharing.
For almost a quarter-century, experts have been telling parents to put newborns to sleep on their backs.
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