Use of infant bedding remains high despite recommendations

1. The usage of potentially hazardous infant bedding declined by over 31% during the study period, but the prevalence still remains high at 54.7%.

2. Populations more likely to use infant bedding were young mothers, non-white race/ethnicity, and those without a college education.

Study Rundown: In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommended against the use of any type of bedding for infants in order to prevent unintentional sleep-related suffocation. However, the rate of infant mortality associated with infant bedding has more than doubled since the same year. The current study evaluated trends and characteristics associated with infant bedding use during 1993 to 2010. Findings indicated that the overall use of bedding, while declining, is still common. Populations more likely to use infant bedding were young mothers, non-white race/ethnicity, and those without a college education. The use of infant bedding was highest in teenage mothers at 83.5% during the study period. This study is limited by self-report measures, lack of generalizability, declining response rate over the years, and possible varying practices during the daytime versus nighttime. However, these results may inform clinicians to focus counseling efforts surrounding safe infant sleep environments on more specific patient populations.

Click to read the study published today in Pediatrics

Relevant Reading: American Academy of Pediatrics task force on sudden infant death syndrome

In-Depth [cross-sectional study]: Data from 18,952 participants were extracted from the National Infant Sleep Position Study from 1993 to 2010. Telephone interviews were conducted annually with caregivers of infants less than 8 months old. Participants were asked about infant sleep position, location for sleep, use of potentially hazardous bedding, and sociodemographic characteristics. Bedding use was defined as placing blankets, quilts, pillows, or other similar materials under or covering infants while they slept. This practice decreased significantly from 85.9% to 54.7% when evaluated over 3-year averages during the study period. Each racial/ethnic group significantly decreased use of bedding between the periods of 1993 to 2000 and 2001 to 2010 (Caucasian p < .001; Black p < .001; Hispanic p = .02). During the period of 2007 to 2010, independent factors associated with a greater likelihood of bedding use included: maternal age <20 years (aOR* 2.09, 95% CI: 1.33-3.30), mother’s race/ethnicity (Black aOR 2.00, 95% CI: 1.53- 2.61; Hispanic aOR 1.63, 95% CI: 1.24- 2.16), and mother’s education level of less than high school (aOR 2.32, 95% CI: 1.62- 3.33).

*aOR = adjusted odds ratio

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