LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Despite a decades-long campaign that urges parents to place babies on their backs, a new study shows that less than half of parents do so.
This study, published in the journal Pediatrics, states that only 43 percent of U.S. mothers intend to use the proper method and actually use it all of the time.
The study's authors interviewed more than 3,000 moms and 77 percent said they usually - but not always — put their babies to sleep on their backs.
"This is disturbing news," Injury Prevention Coordinator with Norton Children's Prevention & Wellness, Erika Janes, said. "Placing babies on their backs before they go to sleep reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as other sleep-related infant deaths like suffocation. Babies who sleep on their stomach have up to 13 times the risk of SIDS."
The study also found that those who felt that choosing the baby's sleeping position was not up to them, but rather the baby or another family member, were more than three times as likely to place the baby on its stomach. Other concerns were the baby might choke and that it's less comfortable than having them sleep on their stomachs.
Health advocates at Norton Children's Hospital said they lose several babies a month in Louisville due to unsafe sleeping practices such as sharing the adult bed or being placed on their stomach.
It is recommended that parents follow the ABC's of safe sleep: babies should sleep alone, on their backs and in safe crib.