Parents warned not to share beds with infants : safe infant sleeping standards

New guidelines in South Australia advise parents not to sleep with their infants. They stem from coronial findings on the deaths of five babies who were crushed to death by sleeping adults in SA since 2008. SA Health will now advise parents against sleeping with their young children. South Australian Health Minister John Hill says babies also should be put to sleep on their backs, rather than side or stomach. "Obviously families like to be close and parents like to be doing the right thing and they think sometimes putting the baby in the bed with them is a safe practice, but of course large adult bodies can crush a small child or the child can get lost in the bed and suffocate," he said. An infant health researcher at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital Dr Susan Beal hopes the clearer guidelines will make a difference. "Get rid of bedclothes out of beds, get rid of big soft toys and [cot] bumpers," she advised.

The South Australian Safe Infant Sleeping Standards were developed by a core group of experts from Government and non-Government sectors in South Australia under the direction of the South Australian Safe Sleeping Advisory Committee.

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