Node Smith, ND

A recent study on SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – has revealed that babies who died during their sleep while being watched by someone other than a parent were much more likely to be placed in a sleep position that may have been unsafe. Such babies were placed on their stomachs, or in locations such as a couch.

Study urges parents to educate anyone caring for their children about safe sleep practices

The study urges parents to be more specific and intentional about educating anyone caring for their children about safe sleep practices, and the risk of SIDS. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and a year old. Babies should be placed on their back, in a crib without objects such as blankets or toys that could become tangled around them while they are sleeping.

Research looked at more than 10,000 infant deaths

The research looked at more than 10,000 infant deaths. 1,375 occurred without a parent present, and they determined that these babies:

  • Were more likely to be placed in a position other than their back – the sleep position recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Were more likely to be placed in sleep environments with objects that might be hazardous – toys or blankets.
  • Were more likely to have died when being held or sleeping in an adult bed.

Study revealed only 72.5 percent of licensed childcare providers utilized a crib or bassinet, less for babysitters, and even less for relatives

The study revealed that only 72.5 percent of licensed childcare providers utilized a crib or bassinet, and among babysitters, about 50 percent. Relatives and friends were the least likely group to use a crib; under 30 percent. The placement of infants in the recommended sleep position (on their back) was only 38 percent for friends, relatives and babysitters, and 54 percent for childcare providers.


Image Copyright: <a href=’′>bruno135 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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