Learning About SIDS: FAQs – Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleep Environment
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published a new policy statement and technical report expanding the recommendations on how to create a safe environment for infant sleep. The report is titled SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleep Environment.
There has been a major decrease in the incidence of SIDS since the AAP recommended in 1992 that caregivers put infants to sleep on their backs. This decline has leveled off in recent years, while other causes of sudden unexpected infant death that occur during sleep have increased, particularly since 2005. Other causes of death that occur during sleep include suffocation, asphyxia and entrapment and ill-defined causes of death. The AAP is expanding its recommendations from focusing on SIDS to focusing on a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS.
The first set of recommendations (Level A) are based on good and consistent scientific evidence. These recommendations come from consistent findings from at least two well-designed, well-conducted case-control studies, a systematic review or a meta-analysis. Experts are highly certain that the net benefits of these recommendations are substantial and that future studies will probably not change these
Level A Recommendations (based on scientific evidence):
Level B Recommendations are based on limited or inconsistent scientific evidence. The available evidence is sufficient to determine the effects of the recommendations on health outcomes, but confidence in the estimate is constrained by such factors as the number, size or quality of individual studies or inconsistent findings across individual studies. As more information becomes available, the magnitude or directions of the observed effect could change and this change may be large enough to alter the conclusion.
Level C recommendations are based primarily on consensus and expert opinion.
Pediatrics Volume 128, Number 5, November 2011. Go to http://www.aap.org/ for additional information.