Tags: sids | infant | sleep | safety

Online SIDS Prevention Info Often Wrong

Monday, 06 Aug 2012 01:40 PM


Attention new parents: Searching the Internet for information about preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other infant sleep safety issues may be hazardous to your newborn’s health.
Child health experts at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. who tracked Web-based information about SIDS and sleep safety found it is often inaccurate.
The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found only about two-thirds of some 1,300 Websites turned up through Google searches contained accurate SIDS and infant sleep safety guidelines and 28 percent provided wrong information.
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The researchers noted that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published recommendations last year for infant sleep safety to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation, strangulation, and other accidental sleep-related deaths. But the new study showed many Websites don’t reflect those AAP recommendations.
Studies show about 59 percent of Americans use internet searches for health information, with parents searching for information regarding their children among the top users.
"It is important for health care providers to realize the extent to which parents may turn to the internet for information about infant sleep safety and then act on that advice, regardless of the reliability of the source," said lead researcher Dr. Rachel Y. Moon, a pediatrician and SIDS researcher at Children's National Medical Center.
Moon and colleagues checked the accuracy of online information on infant sleep safety by using 13 key phrases. Government and health organization websites had the highest percentage of accurate information (80.1 percent and 72.5 percent, respectively). Blogs, retail product reviews, and individuals' websites had the highest percentage of inaccurate information regarding infant sleep safety (30.9 percent, 36.2 percent, and 45.5 percent, respectively). News websites were accurate only one-half of the time.
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They suggested the following websites as good starting places for accurate health information: Health Finder (www.healthfinder.gov), Medline Plus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus), and Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch/HONcode).
The latest AAP recommendations include putting newborns to sleep on their backs (not face down); use of a firm sleep surface; breastfeeding; no bed-sharing; routine immunizations; and avoiding soft bedding, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs.




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Researchers who tracked Web-based information about SIDS and infant sleep safety found it is often inaccurate.
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Monday, 06 Aug 2012 01:40 PM
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