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Recommendations for sudden infant death syndrome prevention: a discussion document


This article reviews the evidence for the current UK Department of Health recommendations for prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suggests other factors that should be considered. The wording of the Department of Health recommendations for SIDS prevention has changed over the past 6 years, but the specific recommendations are largely consistent with the scientific evidence. The emphasis on thermal and illness factors and immunisation could be reduced. Bed sharing and sharing the parental bedroom should be given more emphasis. Two major recommendations need to be discussed in greater detail: (1) breast feeding and (2) pacifier use. Meta-analyses or reviews looking at each risk factor or a combination of risk factors are required. Further, it is recommended that a committee is established that reviews the recommendations and publishes the evidence that leads to these recommendations, as is done by the American Academy of Pediatrics Taskforce on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

  • ICD, International Classification of Diseases
  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome
  • SUDI, sudden unexpected death in infants

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    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health