The Physician’s Role in Reducing SIDS

Despite a sustained public education campaign aimed at reducing the risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it remains one of the leading causes of infant death. This study aims to determine physicians’ knowledge of SIDS and whether physicians are discussing how to reduce the risk of SIDS with parents. A cross-sectional survey is sent to 912 pediatricians, family practitioners, and obstetrician-gynecologists in Central New York State. The response rate is 23.5%. Almost all respondents (99.5%) agree that certain measures can be taken to reduce the risks of SIDS, but 30.3% incorrectly state that the safest sleep position is something other than on the back. Although 97.6% agree that it is important to discuss SIDS with parents, 30% admit to not discussing this information. To continue to decrease the SIDS rate, physicians must take responsibility for educating themselves and parents about safe sleep practices and other SIDS risk factors.