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New study identifies biggest SIDS risk factor for young infants

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NEW YORK (PIX11) - A study released Monday has revealed important information for parents that could help lower the number of tragic cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

The study, published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, compared death records for infants three months or younger, to those of infants four months or older.

“What we found is that the younger infants were particularly at risk for sharing a bed with an adult,” said Dr. Jeffery Colvin of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, according to “We found out that the older children were at a particular risk at having an object such as a blanket or a quilt or a pillow in the crib with them.”

“What I found most surprising was the percentage of young infants who are bed-sharing at the time of death — 75 percent (were) bed-sharing, and that’s just an incredible number,” Colvin said. “Parents need to know that bed-sharing with their young infant is a dangerous situation, and when the infant turns older they start to relax about keeping a safe environment for the child.”

For older infants, the study found that the major risk factor was having objects in the sleep area.  When a child becomes older he or she is able to roll and/or crawl into a pillow left inside a crib and suffocate.

“It’s so tragic because these are perfectly healthy infants that no one would ever think at-risk for dying, and although we still don’t know [what] exactly causes SIDS and other SIDS-related deaths, there are certainly ways the parents can help stop SIDS and to just follow the ABC’s of safe sleep,” Colvin said.

ABC stands for Alone, Back, Crib -- parents should make sure that their infants are sleeping by themselves, on their backs and in a crib.

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