Are you going to be drinking this New Year’s? Who will be caring for your baby?
A Sept 2010 SIDS study, led by sociologist David Phillips of the University of California, San Diego, is the first large-scale US study to look at a possible link between SIDS and alcohol. 129,090 SIDS cases we examined, from 1973 to 2006. The study finds that the largest spikes in alcohol consumption and in SIDS (33%) occur on New Year’s. Alcohol consumption and SIDS also increase significantly on weekends, and children of alcohol-consuming mothers are much more likely to die from SIDS than are children of non-alcohol-consuming mothers. They conclude by suggesting that caretakers and authorities should be informed that alcohol impairs parental capacity and might be a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome.
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What exactly is the connection between alcohol and SIDS? “We know that when people are under the influence of alcohol their judgments are impaired and they are not as good at performing tasks. This would include care-taking,” Phillips said.
So please, be careful. If you’ve had a few drinks, be extra careful. It is always important to follow safety guidelines for SIDS prevention. Put your baby on his back to sleep. Don’t put any stuffed toys or pillows near a sleeping baby. Be sure not to over-bundle your baby. Don’t smoke. Breastfeed if possible. Read more safety precautions here.