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BABIES CAN AND DO SUFFOCATE

15.7% of SIDS babies in the New Zealand Cot Death Study were found with their heads covered.

1987-1990 study ref (Wilson et al 1994) Publ. 1994.

US Consumer Products Safety Commission Report called“Infant Suffocation Project” final report Jan 1995.

Covering of babies’ heads by bedding has been suggested to be able to cause upper airway obstruction

{QUOTE “[45,45]”  }[45, 46]{QUOTE “”  }

rebreathing of expired air or thermal stress { QUOTE “[47]” }[47]. Consistent with these physiological data, several case series have reported that a proportion (approximately 20%) of SIDS infants are found with their heads covered by bedding (16% (60/385) are in New Zealand { QUOTE “[35]” }[35], 22% (44/203) in South Australia { QUOTE “[48]” }[48], 24% (35/146) in Scotland { QUOTE “[14]” }[14] and 19% (34/182) in the United Kingdom { QUOTE “[9]” }[9].  In the UK study there was a clear association between infants found with covers over their heads and SIDS after adjustment for potential confounders (adjusted odds ratio 21.58 (95% CI=6.21, 74.99) { QUOTE “[9]” }[9].

During the first 12 months of life babies can only move forwards or backwards and may end up dangerously jammed at the top or bottom of the cot and there is therefore a strong risk of suffocation.

Positional upper airways narrowing and an apparent life threatening event – Dr Shirley Tonkin OBE,MB ChB, DCH, MCCM – Ref: Midwifery News, March 2005

See www.sidsandkids.com, FAQ’s Q6, “Sleep baby with face uncovered – Be careful that baby’s face and head stays uncovered during sleep as this decreases the risk of SIDS.”

Title: Temporal distribution of sleep states, somatic activity and autonomic activity during the first half year of life

Authors: Toke Hoppenbrouwers, JE Hodgman, KM Harper, MB Sterman

Institute: Los Angeles County University, Southern California Medical Centre, Sudden Infant Death Research

Source: Sleep Volume 5(2) pg 131-144, 1982

Abstract: ….At 2 and 3 months of age, motility in active sleep and quiet sleep increased linearly during the night.

Title: Observation of movements during sleep in ALTE and apnoeic infants. A pilot study

Authors: Christa Einspieler, Heinz F Prechtl, Leo van Eykern, Bart de Roos

Instititute: Karl Franz University Graz, Department of Physiology, Austria

Source: Early Human Development Volume 40(1) pg39-49, Dec1994

Abstract:…Movements during sleep could be classified into general movements, isolated movements of the upper extremity, startles, head rotations and truck rotations.

Title: Death scene investigations in sudden infant death syndrome

Authors: Millard Bass, Richard E Kravath, Leonard Glass

Institute: State University, New York Health Science Ctr, Brooklyn/kings County Hospital Ctr

Source: New England journal of Medicine Volume 315(2) pg 100-105 Jul 1986

Abstract: …In 18 (out of 26) cases, various possible causes of death other than SIDS were discovered, including accidental asphyxiation by an object in a crib or bassinet, smothering while overlying while sharing a bed, hyperthermia and shaken baby syndrome

Title: Developmental course of general movements in early infancy  Authors: M Hadders-Algra, Heinz F Prechtl

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