SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

What is SIDS?

Modifiable Risk Factors

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Bedsharing

Of special concern is the increase of bedsharing in groups not traditionally associated with the practice including mothers older than 18 years of age, White mothers and mothers living in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South. It has been postulated that the BTS campaign raised parents’ concerns about sleep safety and inadvertently resulted in parents bedsharing out of a desire to keep their infant safe while asleep.

It is important to note that the terms “bedsharing” and “co-sleeping” are not the same. Cosleeping is when an infant sleeps in the same room as an adult while bedsharing is when an infant sleeps in an adult bed or other sleep surface with other people.

A recent study found that the risk of suffocation is approximately 20 times greater for infants who sleep in adult beds compared to those who sleep in cribs.46 The study, conducted by researchers from the CPSC and St. Louis University, compared the characteristics of suffocation deaths reported to the CPSC in the 1980s and the 1990s to describe how deaths occurred on specific sleep surfaces such as adult beds, cribs and sofas or chairs.47

For some time SUID/SIDS, FIMR and CDR program staff have been voicing concerns about the growing numbers of infants who died in adult beds and other unsafe sleep areas. Some programs began developing educational messages and responding to bedsharing concerns and unsafe sleep environments by developing targeted educational campaigns and crib distribution programs. This is a complex and sensitive issue for SIDS parents, breastfeeding advocates and others.

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