The “Back to Sleep” campaign of the mid-1990’s was the start of the Safe Sleep movement in America. It was a watershed event for the welfare and safety of our nation’s babies. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the basis for the “Back to Sleep” campaign was:
“Evidence from numerous countries—including New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States—suggests that placing babies on their backs to sleep results in a substantial decline in the SIDS rate compared to placing babies on their stomachs to sleep. Researchers have established the link between stomach sleeping and SIDS by showing that babies who died from SIDS were more likely to be put to sleep on their stomachs compared to babies who lived”.
As a result of the “Back to Sleep” campaign, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS) rate was cut in half in just a few years. The campaign was so incredibly successful in large part because it enjoyed broad support of governmental agencies and the medical community, with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) playing a predominant role. The AAP’s message was simple, “Back to Sleep”. This message helped ensure babies were placed in the safest sleeping position possible – on their backs – saving the lives of tens of thousands of babies since.
However, during this same period approximately 70,000 babies have still died from SIDS. And the rate of SIDS has remained relatively flat over the past twenty years. We have learned many things about SIDS since then. Among them, the importance of uninterrupted airflow, which is believed to be a contributing factor to SIDS when a baby rolls on to their stomach while sleeping. Further, as a result of improved death scene investigations, an increasing amount of evidence suggests some SIDS cases are in fact caused by positional asphyxiation. Positional asphyxiation occurs when an infant dies and is found in a position where their nose and/or mouth is blocked, such as face down in their crib mattress.
In the 2016 Updated Recommendations for Safe Sleep Report, the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledged that a baby sleeping in the prone position on a breathable sleep surface may be safer than on a non-breathable surface:
“Certain crib mattresses have been designed with air-permeable materials to reduce rebreathing of expired gasses, in the event that an infant ends up in the prone position during sleep, and these may be preferable to those with air-impermeable materials.”
As the “Back to Sleep” campaign advises, babies should always be put on their backs to sleep. But in the event they roll on their stomachs while sleeping, the AAP acknowledges that air-permeable surfaces may be preferable to the air-impermeable materials of traditional mattresses.
With an industry leading, scientifically proven Co2 dissipation rates ten times that of non-breathable sleep surfaces and a breathable sleep surface 330 times more air permeable than a conventional mattress, the Breathe Easy Baby Breathable Crib Mattress can provide a safer sleeping environment for babies.