BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new study found prominent differences regarding race and ethnicity among children affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that Caucasian children are less likely to be SIDS victims than toddlers belonging to other races.
SIDS death rates decreased among all populations, but the racial gap is still present
The study shows that the most SIDS victims are either Native Alaskan or American Indians. In 1995, statistics showed a number of 237.5 deaths per 100,000 children. By 2013, the rate has slightly decreased, reaching 177.6 deaths per 100,000. However, these ethnicities remain on the lead. The situation is quite serious, since doctors think that many of these deaths can be prevented.
The next place is occupied by African Americans. Their population has also witnessed a drop in SIDS death rates from 1995 to 2013 (from 203 to 172.4 per 100,000 births). The good news is, in fact, that these rates have dropped among all ethnicities.
Among non-Hispanic whites, the rates were of 93 in 1995, and they decreased to 84.5. The situation of Hispanics is even better, dropping from 62.7 to 49.3. Some populations even managed to reduce the risk in half. Asians and those of Pacific Island descent reached 28.3 deaths in 2013, as compared to 59.3 in 1995.
More access to information reduced these death rates
The American Academy of Pediatrics played an important role in this general decrease of SIDS deaths. They constantly update the guidelines and inform parents on how to offer their babies a safe sleeping environment. Their efforts have paid off, as the number of such deaths among children has dropped significantly.
Despite these efforts, the racial gap remains present. Researchers suspect that the number of SIDS deaths is higher in certain communities due to unhealthy habits, such as inappropriate breastfeeding techniques, exposure of the infant to tobacco or alcohol, or other economic or social factors.
Researchers advise parents to pay attention to the sleeping environments of their children. They should choose hard mattresses for the cribs, always put babies to sleep on their backs, and take away all objects which pose choking risks.
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