The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on SIDS decided to expand the safe sleep recommendations to include recommendations to reduce the risk of other sleep-related infant deaths (such as suffocation, entrapment, asphyxia) because, as indicated in the table below, many of the risk factors are the same.
In addition, the incidence of both SIDS and other sleep-related deaths is increased in African American and American Indian/Alaska Native populations.
As noted in the table, it is unknown whether the nonsupine position by itself increases the risk of suffocation, and we have therefore not included suffocation as a rationale for supine sleeping in either the Policy Statement or the Technical Report. Moreover, the similarity noted in risk factors should not be construed as implying that SIDS is caused by suffocation. Indeed, they are 2 separate entities. Unfortunately, at this time there is no unique cellular pathology that enables medical examiners, coroners, or pathologists to differentiate SIDS from suffocation, and thus a determination of the cause of death must be made in the absence of this information.1 It may be helpful to note that several groups have developed protocols for standardizing the assignment of cause of death in sudden and unexpected infant deaths,2–4 but these protocols have not yet been universally adopted.
- Krous HF,
- Beckwith JB,
- Byard RW,
- et al
- Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics