Korean J Pediatr.  2006 Jun;49(6):602-609. 10.3345/kjp.2006.49.6.602.

A survey of infant sleep positions associated with sudden infant death syndrome

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Korea. ksmin@hallym.or.kr


PURPOSE: As the prone position is thought to be an important factor in sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS), this study was conducted to contribute to reducing SIDS by analyzing sleeping positions of infants.
A face-to-face questionnaire was carried out with a total of 170 parents with a baby aged less than 6 months.
A total of 170 infants included 95 males(55.9 percent) and 75 females(44.1 percent); their average age was 2.8 months. 45.3 percent slept in a supine position; 34.7 percent in a side or supine position; 7.1 percent in a side position; 4.7 percent in a prone position; 4.1 percent in a non-specific position. Among those in a side position, 59.7 percent were in a supine position in the morning; 19.5 percent were in the side position; 13.4 percent were in a non-specific position; and 4.1 percent were in a prone position. To the question why they slept in a specific position, 34.9 percent answered their baby slept comfortably, and particularly, 42.9 percent in the prone position group answered so. In the supine position group, 21.6 percent answered they had no reason. Both in the prone position and side position groups, 21 percent each answered they were worried about the shape of their baby's head. In the side position group, 22 percent answered that they had a fear of choking due to vomiting. In all sleeping position groups, 8.2 percent and 7.4 percent answered it was because they had a fear of suffocation and they wanted to avoid SIDS, respectively.
Many of the parents preferred unstable positions, e.g. the side position and the prone position, which could cause SIDS. Their decision on their baby's sleeping position was not based on exact medical knowledge, but on convenience in taking care of their baby. As it was found that only 6 percent of the subjects were advised from their pediatrist about their baby's sleeping position, moreover, it is necessary to carry out more studies and activities for preventing SIDS caused by improper sleeping positions and educating patents about recommended sleeping positions for their baby.


Sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS); Sleep position
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