Parents Often Led Astray By Online Infant Sleep Information

We all know it’s a good idea to take much of the information found on the Internet with a grain of salt, but when it comes to your baby’s sleep, that grain of salt should be rather large.

The “back to sleep” recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should always be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm crib mattress, with no soft objects nearby. The guidelines were designed to reduce death from sudden infant death syndrome, suffocation, strangulation and other causes, and have been credited with cutting SIDS deaths by more than half since 1994.

A new study conducted by the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., University of South Carolina School of Medicine and George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences finds that of the 931 relevant websites offering sleep advice for infants, only 61-percent agreed with the above advice.

According to the study, 59-percent of Americans use Internet searches to get health information, including heavy use by parents searching for information to keep their children healthy.

Researchers who conducted the study say they’re not overly surprised by the amount of mis-information on the web, but wanted to confirm just how bad it was.

The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.