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          Parenting

          Co-Sleeping Safety Tips

          April 08, 2003

          Many parents and caregivers are unaware that there are hidden hazards when placing babies on adult beds. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reports of more than 100 deaths of children under the age of 2, mostly from suffocation associated with features of adult beds.

          Consumers often think that if an adult bed is pushed against a wall, or pillows are placed along the sides of the bed, small babies will be safe as they sleep. However, the CPSC data shows hidden hazards for babies on adult beds. With that in mind, if you choose to co-sleep with your toddlers, keep in mind the following safety tips provided by the CPSC:

          Safety Tips

          1. Wherever your baby sleeps should be as safe as possible. Babies placed on adult beds risk suffocation from several hidden hazards such as:

          • Entrapment between the bed and wall, or between the bed and another object.
          • Entrapment involving the bed frame, headboard or footboard.
          • Falls from adult beds onto piles of clothing, plastic bags, or other soft materials resulting in suffocation.
          • Suffocation in soft bedding (such as pillows or thick quilts and comforters).

          2. Always place the baby to sleep on his/her back, not on his/her stomach.

          3. When using a crib, make sure it meets current safety standards, has a firm, tight-fitting mattress and tight-fitting bottom sheet.

          4. When using a portable crib or playpen, be sure to use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer.

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