Study Confirms SIDS Prevention Strategies

Published Online: Monday, March 1, 2004

After examining 745 cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and 2400 control cases from 20 European centers, researchers have identified a range of risk factors. The report published in The Lancet (January 17, 2004) identified the following causes:

  • 48% (6 of 10) of SIDS cases were attributable to infants lying on their stomachs or their sides
  • 77% of infants sleeping with their mothers involved a mother who smoked

"Avoidable risk factors such as those associated with inappropriate infants' sleeping position, type of bedding used, and sleeping arrangements strongly suggest a basis for further substantial reduction in SIDS incidence rates," concluded the authors.

Although all of these risk factors have been previously identified, the apparent lack of news is actually good news. "One good thing is that looking at all these different countries, pulling all their data together in one data set, confirms what we've known before," said Betty McEntire, executive director of the American SIDS Institute. "Parents can do a lot of things to make a baby safer and reduce the risk of SIDS quite a bit."

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