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Many infants still not placed on their backs to sleep
Date:5/3/2014

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA Since 1994, parents have been urged to put their babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It appears many caregivers have not gotten the message, and health care providers have not done enough to educate families.

Rates of supine sleeping (being placed on the back for sleep) are as low as 50 percent in some states, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 3, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition, only about two-thirds of term infants nationwide are placed on their backs to sleep, and the rate is even lower among preterm infants.

"Given that supine sleep positioning significantly reduces an infant's risk for SIDS, it is worrisome that only two-thirds of full-term infants born in the U.S. are being placed back-to-sleep," said lead author Sunah S. Hwang, MD, MPH, FAAP, a neonatologist at Boston Children's Hospital and South Shore Hospital, and instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "More concerning is that adherence to safe sleep positioning is even lower for preterm infants who are at even greater risk for SIDS compared to term infants."

SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age.

More than 2,000 babies died from SIDS in 2010, the most recent year statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Although the precise cause of SIDS is still unknown, we do know that safe sleep practices, such as sleeping on the back, reduces the risk of infant death in the first year of life," Dr. Hwang said. "The Back-to-Sleep campaign reduced the rate of SIDS by 50 percent in the 1990s. Since 2001, this rate has remained stagnant."

Dr. Hwang and her colleagues analyzed data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) to compare the prevalence of supine sleep positionin
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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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