Safe-sleep guidelines for infants first recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992 have not resulted in a drop in the rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in babies less than 1 month old, according to researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston and Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.
Sudden unexpected infant death is the death of a seemingly healthy, full-term infant during the first year of life due to no immediately apparent cause. SUID includes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), as well as cases of accidental asphyxiation or strangulation during sleep.
The MassGeneral study suggests that over the past two decades, cases of SUID during the first month of life are higher than expected – an average of 444 per year in the United States – and there has been a significant increase in deaths caused by suffocation in newborns and infants under age 1. The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.