About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Effect of Sleep Environment on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

by Anne Trueman on July 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Font : A-A+

Effect of Sleep Environment on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Infants during sleep have the highest risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and therefore it is referred as crib death or cot death.

The exact cause of sudden infant death syndrome is still unknown. The preventive measures for SIDS involve sleeping in well-ventilated rooms and putting infants on their back to sleep.


Patricia Schnitzer and her colleagues evaluated 3136 sleep related infant death cases and identified the risk factors for sleep-associated sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) from the data collected from nine states that included Delaware, Hawaii, California, Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Recognition of the effect of hazardous environment on infant sleep is imperative to minimize the death of infants.

Only 25 percent of the infants were found to sleep on their back or in a crib while64 percent of the infants shared the sleeping space and nearly half of these infants shared the sleeping surface with adults.

The 3136 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) were categorized into three segments- SIDS (30.6 percent), undetermined cause (39.5 percent) and suffocation (29.9 percent).

It was seen that most of the deaths occurred in male infants (57 percent) and in infants below the age of 4 months (71 percent). The majority of caregivers were female. Only 24 percent of infants were sleeping in a crib or bassinette at the time of death; 47 percent were in an adult bed, and another 13 percent were on a couch or chair. Twenty five percent of them were on their backs and 35 percent on their stomach.

Seventeen percent of infants were noted to have a partially or fully obstructed airway. Sixty-four percent of all SUID victims were sleeping on the same surface as another person or animal when they died. More than 50 percent of the deaths were referred to a medical examiner, and an autopsy was performed on 94 percent of the infants presented the frequency distribution and proportion of deaths according to cause of death category, caregiver, and other selected characteristics.

Schnitzer said, "Since the Back-to-Sleep Campaign began, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) have decreased, but infant sleep-related deaths resulting from suffocation dramatically have increased.Sharing beds with infants is more common now, so we want to help new parents understand the risks."

Furthermore people believe that sharing bed with infants make breast feeding easier but contrary to this popular belief the practice is harmful to infants who should be hygienically placed in their separate environment after breastfeeding.

Despite the recommendations made by the experts, there has been continuous increase in sharing bed with infants. Future researches should emphasize and focus on developing novel interventions to facilitate behavioral changes and provide a safe infant sleep environment.

Reference :
Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths - Sleep Environment and Circumstances; Patricia Schnitzer et al; Am J Public Health. 2012;102(6):1204-1212

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
Emotional Healing
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome / Cot Death Snoring Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking Periodic Limb Movement Disorder REM Behavior Disorder Sleep Disturbances In Women Sleep Insomnia Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Recommended Reading
Avoid All Risk Factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome : Study
Sleeping on their back is not the only risk factor to avoid in SIDS, rather all other risk factors ....
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome / Cot Death Support Groups
Support groups for Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)...
Infant Sleep Campaigns to Prevent SIDS
Study reinforces the need for public education programs that encourage parents to place their ......
Baby Products Do Not Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Over the counter baby products cannot prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome says FDA. When a child ...
Difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep is known as insomnia. It is a symptom that occurs due...
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea should be suspected in overweight middle aged adults who snore loudly and w...
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder which causes repetitive cramping or jerki...
REM Behavior Disorder
REM Behavior Disorder (RBD) is a sleep disorder in which the person acts out dramatic or violent dre...
Sleep is a behavioral state of restricted physical activity. It is controlled by our internal biolo...
Sleep Disorder : Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes - An urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that...
Sleep Disorder: Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking or “Somnambulism,” is a type of parasomnia and has medico-legal implications...
Sleep Disturbances In Women
The physical, emotional and hormonal changes that occur in women during puberty, menstrual cycle, pr...
Turbulent airflow causes tissues of the nose and throat to vibrate and the noise produced by these v...
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome / Cot Death
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is death of a baby, under one year of age that occurs in sleep and cann...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use