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Infant sleep not understood by caregivers, says study


A U.S study suggests that most caregivers of infants are not up to date on recommendations to prevent sleep related deaths from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Reuters reports.

For the study, researchers studied the responses of 121 caregivers of newborns delivered in 2013 at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City about sleep safety. The study found that 53 percent of the caregivers did not agree on the use of pacifiers and 62 percent believed in swaddling infants.  The use of pacifiers is linked to a lower risk of SIDS and swaddling infants is linked to an increased SIDS risk.

The study by Varghese and colleagues showed that some parents might not have absorbed these recent recommendations.

Only 61 percent of participants recalled being instructed about sleep safety by a health care provider.

"There is a certain power surrounding 'traditional' knowledge," said Varghese, now at Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "Both parents and health care professionals need to stay up-to-date on recommendations."

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new infant sleep guidelines about four years back for the prevention of SIDS. According to the guidelines, breastfeeding, pacifier use and firm crib mattresses helped in the prevention of sleep related deaths. On the other hand, the AAP cautioned against the use of blankets, pillows and bedsharing.


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