Back to Annual Meeting Page
American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4044.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 9:30 AM

Abstract #108662

Are mass media campaigns against co-sleeping warranted?

Peter D. Rumm, MD, MPH1, Monica Kanal, BS2, Divya Ullal, BS2, and Christopher Harvey, BS2. (1) Community Health and Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, Director, Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication, 1505 Race St., Philidelphia, PA 19102, 2157621652, pdr26@drexel.edu, (2) Drexel School of Public Health, 1505 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 19102

Introduction: Recently the City of Philadelphia has launched a media campaign against the practice of co-sleeping. This was based on 8 deaths allegedly due to the practice, primarily in young infants in public assistance housing. This spurred an interest in an academic school of public health to look into the pros and cons of this ancient practice, which is still heavily promoted by some pediatric experts and cultures today. Methods: The primary author and several public health students have conducted a major literature review of the history of co-sleeping, its potential benefits and risks, campaigns and/or governmental/professional warnings about the practice. This review has included several major international studies of SIDS and co-factors after back to sleep campaigns were introduced in Europe prior to arriving in the U.S. on a wide scale basis. Discussion: Major co-factors such as tobacco, drug and alcohol usage will be discussed. In addition, the authors will discuss how several major reviews have usually demonstrated a small, but statistically significant independent risk of co-sleeping. Finally, young infant age appears in our literature review to be a significant co-factor with most deaths when they occur occurring within three months of age or less. Recommendation: Social marketing, individual parent counseling, and other communication efforts may need to be tailored to reach the most vulnerable populations of children most at risk for preventable co-sleeping events and public health and medical professionals should be made more aware about this issue.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Communication Effects, SIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Reducing Infant Mortality and SIDS: The Role of Health Care Services and Safe Sleeping Practices

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA