COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Columbus police say the department has been called out to several infant sleeping deaths recently with co-sleeping being the main culprit.
According to a study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an average of three infant deaths happen in Georgia each week. 58% of them occur when the baby is co-sleeping with an adult in bed.
Law enforcement officials are stressing that parents practice the ABCs of safe sleep — alone, on their backs, and in a crib.
Kelly Doub, a neonatal nurse practitioner at St. Francis, told WRBL that in the first six months of life, babies have not yet developed neck control. They are unable to turn over and this can cause them to have airway restrictions that can lead to an accidental suffocation or death.
Doub suggests that along with the ABCs of safe sleep, parents need to learn the five S’s of safe sleep.
“The five S’s for soothing a baby for safe sleep involve swaddling, the laying hands on the baby, and you can turn the baby to the side. You can provide shushing. If the baby’s still a little fussy, you can pick the baby up for swaying. And then the last step is sucking. Just 10 to 15 seconds of sucking just to relax the baby. And then you take one thing away at a time,” shared Doub.
This technique is used to teach infants independent sleeping habits that can be lifesaving.