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(Cambodian) Reducing the Risk for SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Translation courtesy of Iowa SIDS Alliance, Des Moines Branch

Updated Information on Sleep Position (March 2000)

bullet The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants sleep in a non-prone position to reduce the risk for SIDS. Specifically:
Supine (wholly on the back) confers the lowest risk and is preferred. However, while side sleeping is not as safe as supine, it also has a significantly lower risk than prone. If the side position is used, caretakers should be advised to bring the dependent arm forward to lessen the likelihood of the infant rolling to the prone position.

These recommendations are considered to be primarily important during the first six months of age, when a baby's risk of SIDS is greatest. Parents should discuss these recommendations with their baby's doctor.

The side position has in general been considered less effective than supine because it is less stable, and some infants rolling from the side will end up sleeping prone. The only specific and objective data in this regard was reported at the June International Conference by Peter Fleming (Avon, UK). He reported that the relative risk of SIDS when sleeping on the side is double the risk of SIDS when sleeping supine. We do not currently have any data on this question in the U.S.; nevertheless, I am in full agreement that we should recommend only the supine position for sleeping. That is, although side appears to be much better than prone, it is not as effective as supine sleeping. I hope this is helpful.
Carl E. Hunt, M.D.
Toledo/Washington D.C.

 

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