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SIDS (Crib Death) Far More Likely to Occur on New Years Eve – Researchers Blame Drunk Caregivers

posted 05:22 AM EST, Wed December 22, 2010
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SIDS deaths spike by a third on New Year’s Eve, prompting researchers to speculate that increased alcohol consumption decreases childcare effectiveness and leads to the increased deaths.

The winter months are already a period of increased sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) fatalities, but on the first day of the new year, University of California, San Diego researchers say that SIDS deaths increase by about a third.

Why the dangers increase over the New Year’s Eve holiday isn’t known, but the researchers speculate that increased alcohol consumption at New Year’s Eve parties may play a role in the deaths.

The study, led by researcher David Phillips, has been published in the journal, Addiction. In commenting on the results, Phillips argues the likelihood of alcohol playing a role in the increased fatalities, saying, "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 caretaking. There should be increased efforts to inform caretakers that alcohol impairs parental capacity and might be a risk factor for SIDS."

July 5th is another day of the year that sees a jump in SIDS deaths

To reduce the chances of SIDS, health experts recommend:

  • Placing infants to sleep on their backs
  • Not smoking around an infant
  • Making sure the crib and bedding are safe and comply with safety regulations
  • Making sure to dress the infant appropriately – not overdressing with clothes or blankets to prevent overheating
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  • SIDS: Alcohol consumption on New Year's Eve seems responsible for a spike in SIDS deaths.
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