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New information about SIDS.


Researchers in Hong Kong, England and Holland are suggesting potential causative factors and possible safety nets to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or cot (crib) death. In Hong Kong, where children and parents sleep in the same room, the SIDS rate is 0.29 per 1,000, in contrast to 2-4 per 1,000 in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In mainland China and the Soviet Union, where babies commonly sleep in the same bed as their parents, SIDS is almost nonexistent.

No single cause of crib deaths has been isolated. It is thought to be related to low birth weight, respiratory diseases, poverty and poor housing. Yet how does that explain the very low incidence of SIDS in Hong Kong and China, where poverty and poor housing are rampant? Some researchers suggest that a baby's sleep position may be a significant factor. Amsterdam investigators have found there were five times the number of infant deaths among those babies who slept on their chests and abdomens (prone position), compared to those who slept on their backs. Hong Kong parents ordinarily lay their babies on their backs.

U.S. figures were not given.
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Title Annotation:sudden infant death syndrome
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Aug 1, 1989
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