Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pictures of infants' sleeping positions in media

Here is an interesting abstract presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego. I didn't attend this meeting, but saw a write-up about this abstract here. The abstract is about a study designed to evaluate images in popular stock photograph websites and pictures of infants in magazines published for women of childbearing age. The study authors were attempting to determine if the pictures were in compliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe infant sleep practices - meaning having your infant sleep on its back to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The results showed that just over half (50.3%) of the stock photos from websites showed the baby sleeping on its back. And only 15.7% of all infant sleep environments were compliant with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations - meaning that the infant was not bed-sharing and the crib did not have soft objects like pillows, blankets, or bumper pads. With regard to the magazine pictures, there were 4 out of 12 pictures showing an infant sleeping on its stomach, which may raise the risk of SIDS. And only 7 of 24 magazine pictures properly demonstrated a safe infant sleep environment.

The study authors are concerned that stock photo websites and magazine pictures of infants sleeping in positions and environments not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics could confuse some women, causing them to think it's ok to let their infant sleep on its stomach, for example.

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