Swaddling babies may increase risk of SIDS, study says

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NEW YORK — Swaddling infants is a common practice among parents, but a new study shows it may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new study saying the risk for SIDS increased by one-third for babies who were swaddled, the New York Times reported. Swaddled babies placed on their sides or stomachs are twice as likely to die from SIDS.

Swaddling, the act of wrapping a baby tightly in a blanket with just the head exposed, has been said to help babies sleep. However, the practice can also cause overheating, CNN reported.

Researchers say parents who do swaddle infants should pay attention to how they position them. The risk of SIDS decreases for babies who sleep on their backs.

Parents should also think about the baby's age before swaddling them. Infants between four to six months that are swaddled increase their risk for SIDS because they are more likely to roll around, Anna Pease, the lead author of the study, told the Times.

Infants rolling on their sides or stomachs and suffocating has been a concern for years. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study saying having objects in an infant's sleeping area was a risk factor because he or she is able to roll and/or crawl into the object left there and suffocate.

However, the exact cause of SIDS is still a mystery and the new findings should be taken with caution, according to the Times.