Recognizing Risk Factors of SIDS

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 3/29/2012 8:26 am
The "Back To Sleep" campaign began in 1994 as a way to educate parents and caregivers about ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

The campaign was named for its recommendation to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep. Now, a new study finds the rate of SIDS caused by infants lying face down has been cut by more than half.

Researchers looked at the number of SIDS death in San Diego from 1991 to 2008.  During that time, the percentage of babies who died of SIDS after being placed in the prone position decreased from 85 to 30 percent.

But what's concerning researchers is that some of the other risk-factors for SIDS are still prevalent. Most alarming is the fact that the percentage of SIDS infants sharing a bed with an adult increased from 19 to 38 percent.

Researchers think that although prone sleep position remains the most significant risk factor for SIDS, educating parents about some of the other risk factors, like bed-sharing, smoking, or soft bedding, could bring the numbers down even more.

"All children must sleep on their back. But other things that we know is that they should be in their own crib or bassinet with a firm mattress with nothing around them, no stuffed animals or blanket that could cause some trouble with breathing," says Dr. Skyler Kalady, a Pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Pediatrics."

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