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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Review finds that bed sharing increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  1. Sarah J M Shaefer
  1. Department of Community Public Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Sarah J M Shaefer
    Department of Community Public Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 525 N. Wolfe St., Room 419, Baltimore, MD 21205-2110, USA; jshaefer{at}jhmi.edu

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Implications for practice and research

  • Practitioners should inform parents of higher sudden infant death syndrome risk because of bed sharing, especially for smokers and very young infants.

  • Parents should be encouraged to share a room with an infant, not a bed.

  • Additional case control studies are needed on all aspects of bed sharing.

  • Future research should explore parental decision making for sleep location and position.

Context

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) remains the leading cause of infant mortality in USA and most developed countries. After studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s which identified the prone sleep position as a main risk for SIDS, campaigns to promote back sleeping were initiated, and the number of SIDS declined significantly.1 However, …

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