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 have not gotten the message, and, says a [s]Science Daily[/s] report, health care providers have not done enough to educate families. Rates of supine sleeping are as low as 50% in some US states, according to a study presented at the [b]Paediatric Academic Societie’s (PAS)[/b] annual meeting. In addition, only about two-thirds of term infants nationwide are placed on their backs to sleep. Said lead author Dr Sunah Hwang, of [b]Boston Children’s Hospital[/b] and [b]South Shore Hospital[/b]: ‘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.’
Further research by Dr Eve Colson surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,030 Canadian mothers recruited from 32 hospitals, showed families do not always follow recommendations to reduce the risk of sleep-related infant death, reports [s]Science Daily[/s]. In addition, high-risk sleeping behaviours, such as bed sharing and putting infants on their stomachs to sleep, are more common among black and Hispanic families.
As a result of the campaign to place them on their backs when they sleep, one in five babies develop a flat area on their head from lying in the same position for long periods of time. [s]Health24[/s] reports, however, research at the [b]University of Twente, Enschede[/b], has found that special helmets are ineffective in treating the condition.