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East Tenn. pediatrician talks updated safe sleep recommendations for babies

A Lenoir City pediatrician who’s been in practice for 27 years talked with WVLT News about the newest safe sleeping recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Baby Sleep Recommendations
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:40 PM EDT
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LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Lenoir City pediatrician who’s been in practice for 27 years talked with WVLT News about the newest safe sleeping recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Approximately 3,500 infants die in the United States every year because of sleep-related issues,” Pediatrician Dr. Syed Amer said.

He said there are ways to lower your baby’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

“When a baby is dozing off and the child is put to sleep on their own bed, they realize that they are being put in a certain position. Then they get used to going to sleep in that certain position,” Amer stated.

Amer recommended the baby sleep on its back in the crib next to the parents’ bed or in the same room so they can hear if the baby makes any noise.

“There should not be anything that the baby can get entangled with or covered with when you lay the baby down to sleep,” Amer explained. Mattress covers, pillows, blankets or head covers could block the baby’s breathing.

“The baby should never be in the same bed as the parents,” Amer said. Parents can roll over or move, potentially hitting or harming the baby, or blankets can cover the baby’s face.

There are ways parents can help their baby. Giving the infant a pacifier when they’re awake allows them to strengthen their jaw muscles, Amer said.

That way, the baby can open its mouth if they were to start suffocating when asleep, and there are some exercises they can do.

“The purpose of tummy time is to strengthen the back and neck muscles of the baby, so they can lift their head up in case they are suffocating,” according to Amer.

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