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Pets, and SIDS

In response to a question about long-haired cats and SIDS: I know of no relationship. If cat hair plugged the airways of babies and caused them to die, this would be evident at the autopsy. We give no advice to parents about avoiding pets to reduce the risk of SIDS!

I hope this helps. Thanks.

Tom Keens
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

In response to a question, there is no relationship between SIDS and pets, specifically cats. There actually is a recent published study from New Zealand in the Journal of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Infant Mortality which shows that families with cats actually have a slightly lower incidence of SIDS than those with cats. The article does not recommend cat ownership as a way to reduce SIDS, but does put to rest the idea that cats smother babies.

I hope this is helpful. Thank you.

Tom Keens
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

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