DAVID GREENE, HOST:
All right. We have some tips now for new parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics is releasing new advice today about how to protect babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. SIDS claims the lives of about 3,500 babies each year in the United States.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Pediatricians say there are some very simple things that can sharply lower that risk. A big one - always put babies to sleep on their backs, never on their stomachs. And also on a very firm surface, such as a crib with a tight-fitting sheet. Never let a baby sleep on a soft couch or chair.
GREENE: The new recommendations also advise parents to keep their sleeping babies in the same room with them at night, preferably for a full year, but at least for the first six months. Here is Rachel Moon, who helped write the new guidelines.
RACHEL MOON: We do know that if a baby is in the same room and not on the same surface as a parent, that the risk of dying is halved compared to if the baby's in a separate room.
MONTAGNE: And that's pretty big. So, again, an infant should always sleep in his or her own crib or bassinet, and never with anything that could smother a baby, like crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or soft toys.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.