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The Children's Research Institute

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS

An increasing, significant, and highly troubling racial disparity continues to exist in rates of infant mortality attributable to SIDS and other types of sleep-related sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), such as suffocation. Bed-sharing is a risk factor for such deaths and therefore requires thoughtful study. Dr. Moon’s National Institutes of Health K24 study has found there are many factors affecting African American parental intention to bed share, including cultural norms, with some parents believing that they are a “bad” parent if they do not sleep with their infant, the advice of healthcare professionals, and the belief that it is not possible to prevent SIDS or accidental death. Finally, many parents believe that they could best prevent SIDS or accidental death in their infant by constant vigilance, and bed sharing was a method to maintain vigilance. In response to these findings, Dr. Moon is currently conducting an randomized controlled trial (funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration) to test specific safe sleep messages that would be more effective in convincing parents to change their infant sleep practices. In addition, Dr. Moon was just awarded an R01, entitled Social Media and Risk-reduction Training for Infant Care Practices (SMART), to study a four-armed intervention to improve sleep-related infant care practices.

Faculty with interests in sudden infant death syndrome:

  • Rachel Moon, MD