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Bed sharing remains greatest risk factor for sleep-related infant deaths

Sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related causes of infant mortality have several known risk factors, but little is known if these factors change for different age groups.

In a new study, “Sleep Environment Risks for Younger and Older Infants,” in the August 2014 issue of Pediatrics (published online July 14), researchers studied sleep-related infant deaths from 24 states from 2004-2012 through the case reporting system of the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths, according to a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cases were divided by infants 3 months old and younger and those 4 months and older. In 8,207 deaths analyzed, 69% of the infants were bed-sharing at the time of death. Fifty-eight percent were male, and the largest share of deaths occurred in non-Hispanic whites (44.7% for infants 0-3 months and 45.5% for infants 4 months to 1 year old).

Younger infants were more likely bed-sharing (73.8% vs. 58.9%), sleeping on an adult bed or on or near a person, while older infants were more likely found prone with objects, such as blankets or stuffed animals in the sleep area.

Researchers concluded that risk factors for sleep-related infant deaths are different for younger and older infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued recommendations for a safe sleep environment, and recommends that providers and parents understand the different risk factors for each of the developmental stages.

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By | 2014-08-01T00:00:00-04:00 August 1st, 2014|Categories: National|0 Comments

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