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Sudden Infant Deaths Most Common on New Year's
Date:12/21/2010

ht boozing on New Year's Eve night threaten babies on New Year's Day? Phillips thinks that drunk parents are doing something -- or not doing something -- that puts babies at higher risk. But he acknowledges that the study doesn't prove that.

"I would say there's enough evidence here to warrant further investigation," he said, "but not enough to make every parent of every SIDS baby a suspect."

One SIDS specialist said parents who have too much to drink may miss the signs of a baby in distress while they're asleep. "If you can't awaken your own self, how will you be sensitive if a baby is vulnerable?" asked Dr. Debra E. Weese-Mayer, professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Ultimately, she said, caregivers of babies shouldn't drink at all, even if they avoid becoming drunk. "Parents and caregivers need to grow up. If you're going to take care of a child, you have to be responsible."

More information

For more about SIDS, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: David Phillips, Ph.D., professor, sociology, University of California at San Diego; Debra E. Weese-Mayer, M.D., professor, pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and director, Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago; Addiction


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