Lynchburg, VA - The number of babies dying because of SIDS is down by 50% in the U.S., according to a new study.
The drop in reported cases comes after doctors started telling parents to have their babies sleep on their backs in the early 1990s.
According to a new study in the Journal Pediatrics, however, almost half of babies are now dealing with another issue: Plagiocephaly.
In a new, large sample of 440 healthy infants, 47% of babies ages seven to 12 weeks have a flattened or misshapen head from too much time in the back position in the first months of life.
A serious skull abnormality can result in neurological damage, but the study shows only about 3% of babies have the abnormality.
Most of the cases can be corrected with physical therapy and non-invasive measures.
Doctors say flat spots are a sign that the baby has not been given enough opportunity to reposition through activities like "tummy time."
You can also change the direction that the infant lies in the crib from one week to the next.
Avoid too much time in car seats, carriers and bouncers while the infant is awake.
Spend "cuddle time" with the child by holding him upright over one shoulder during the day.
Also, change the location of the baby's crib so that the child has to look in different directions to see the door or the window.