A(nother) Warning on Co-Sleeping

Co-Sleeping is a dangerous choice

Daily Mail, a British publication, has published an article discussing a recent statement from United Kingdom coroners, pathologists, and SIDS researchers that warns of the dangers of co-sleeping. Citing findings from a small number of studies, the researchers attribute as many as 50% of all investigated SIDS cases to co-sleeping situations. We don’t normally report on articles that are from a less-than-scientific source when it comes to parenting recommendations but we’ve chosen this article because it touches on a familiar topic in its third paragraph.

“But their guidance is likely to anger some parents who argue that sharing a bed strengthens bonds, promotes breastfeeding and is part of child-rearing in some cultures.”

It seems that in England as well as the USA, parents are seeing safety recommendations as direct insults to their personal integrity. We know we just got through posting about our stance regarding this type of angered response but this international example seems to add a sense of urgency to the issue. It’s important that you know our recommendations are based on research and given with the intent of reducing the risk for SIDS. If we didn’t think our advice was in the best interest of you and your child’s safety, we would not be giving it.

Co-Sleeping Article @ Daily Mail

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2 Responses to “A(nother) Warning on Co-Sleeping”

  1. Hugh Says:

    I would like some clarification… when exactly did positional asphyxiation, overlay, and accidental suffocation become SIDS (an infant death with no identifiable cause)? There are scientists who have studied bed-sharing and come up with comprehensive safety recommendations that have demonstrated real results to bed-sharing risks. It seems to me that the real tragedy is the lack of differentiation between preventable infant deaths and SIDS. Where have all the SIDS deaths gone? Why does no one care about solving them? Why are people who say they are devoted to solving SIDS getting involved in something that has already been professionally addressed (and without personal bias I might add)? It seems reprehensible to divert the focus from SIDS to bed-sharing. Where are the properly diagnosed SIDS deaths occurring?

    • CJ Says:

      May 7, 2009

      Over the last 20+ years there have been incredible strides made in the area of SIDS research, diagnosis, autopsy standards and death scene investigations, as well as a hugely successful public health message in “back to sleep”. And the CJ Foundation is proud of our continued commitment to the SIDS community- those so closely touched by the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of their precious infant.

      These efforts have helped a broader group of infant deaths as well- including all infant deaths that are considered sudden and unexpected. As you know, SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion, utilized when a thorough investigation does not reveal a clear cause of death. At this time, medical evidence can sometimes not differentiate between asphyxia and SIDS, which creates some of the inconsistencies that you describe. It also creates an environment where diagnostic shifts continue sometimes based on personal bias rather than hard science.

      The risks of unsafe sleep environments that can cause positional asphyxiation, overlay, and accidental suffocation do have some overlap to the risk factors that affect a vulnerable infant that may succumb to SIDS as well. The triple risk model of SIDS demonstrates three overlapping circles representing: 1) environmental factors 2) a vulnerable infant and 3) a critical time period in development.

      The issues you outline below are a further call to comprehensive and standardized investigations that will give us the most accurate diagnoses that clarify which babies have died solely due to environmental factors versus those that are vulnerable and therefore predisposed to a SIDS event.

      The CJ Foundation for SIDS has not forgotten SIDS and we will continue to provide program grants to address support services for families, education, and to fund crucial research so that an accurate cause for SIDS can be identified, it can be diagnosed definitively in those babies that have died, identify babies at risk and then learn how to prevent them from succumbing to SIDS. We have been working closely with U.S. Senator Lautenberg of NJ to address this issue on a national scale as well.

      Times have changed greatly over the last 2-3 decades and with improved investigations and continued research, we are learning more and more. For those families affected though, it is never quick enough. The CJ Foundation is dedicated to seeing an end to SIDS- not just by calling it something else, but truly eliminating these tragedies. We will continue.

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