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(NEWSER) – Cold temps may be upon us, but a new study published in Pediatrics has a message for the parents of the 55% of infants who are put to bed with a blanket, quilt, comforter, or pillow: Don't do it. The federal study is the first to attempt to quantify the practice, and the numbers "startled" Dr. Michael Goodstein, a member of the task force on sleep-related infant deaths at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Sleeping face down on soft bedding increases the risks of SIDS 21-fold," he tells the New York Times; increased suffocation risk is also a factor. The study analyzed data collected in a phone survey of roughly 19,000 parents between 1993 and 2010, and found that the use of such bedding did decrease from an average of 86% between 1993 and 1995 to 55% in the study's final three years.

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