Document Detail

Minimizing the risks of sudden infant death syndrome: to swaddle or not to swaddle?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19540517     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of swaddling on infant arousability, particularly the progression of subcortical activation (SCA) to full cortical arousal (CA), because impaired arousal may contribute to sudden infant death syndrome. STUDY DESIGN: Healthy term infants, who were routinely swaddled (n = 15) or unswaddled (n = 12) at home, were studied with daytime polysomnography at 3 to 4 weeks and 3 months after birth. When both swaddled and unswaddled, arousability was assessed with a pulsatile jet of air at the nostrils. RESULTS: Larger increases in overall arousal thresholds (SCA plus CA) with swaddling were observed in infants who were easiest to arouse when unswaddled. Swaddling did not alter SCA or CA frequencies of routinely swaddled infants at either age. In infants who were naïve to swaddling, arousal thresholds were increased and CA frequency decreased during swaddled quiet sleep at 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a scientific basis for assessing the safety of swaddling in infant care practice. The decreased cortical arousals observed in infants unfamiliar with swaddling may correspond to the increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome for inexperienced prone sleepers.
Heidi L Richardson; Adrian M Walker; Rosemary S C Horne
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-06-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of pediatrics     Volume:  155     ISSN:  1097-6833     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Pediatr.     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-23     Completed Date:  2009-10-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375410     Medline TA:  J Pediatr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  475-81     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Arousal / physiology*
Bedding and Linens
Infant Care / methods*
Infant, Newborn
Physical Stimulation
Restraint, Physical / physiology*
Risk Assessment
Sleep / physiology*
Sudden Infant Death / etiology,  prevention & control*
Supine Position
Comment In:
J Pediatr. 2009 Oct;155(4):461-2   [PMID:  19772994 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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