An overview of the association of pacifiers (dummies) in relation to reducing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is also known as cot death. It is the sudden unexpected death of an apparently well infant, for which there is no explanation. Most babies die in their sleep peacefully. Nine out of ten deaths from SIDS occur during the first six months. However SIDS is rare. For example, more than 300 babies died suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK in (2007). This makes SIDS the most common cause of death in babies over one month old, although the risk of a baby dying from this is still small (NHS Choices, 2010b). For this reason health visitors promote safe sleeping to reduce the risk of SIDS. One of the recommendations that’s promoted in order to lower the risks is the use of a pacifier (NHS Choices, 2010b).
This is important to the reader to research due to delivering this health promotion strategy, they want to know the evidence behind delivering this as a prevention for SIDS. Evidence suggests it's possible that using a dummy at the start of any sleep period reduces the risk of cot death. However, the evidence is not strong and not all experts agree that dummies should be promoted (NHS Choices, 2010a)
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative issued the following statement when research first came to light on the use of a pacifier to prevent SIDS. While welcoming any research which may help to reduce the risk of SIDS, considerations which must be taken into account before using this latest data to make recommendations to parents. They focused on trends to show that babies who used a dummy during their last sleep were less likely to die, but that routine dummy use is not protective. This may indicate that infants are at greater risk of SIDS if they routinely use a dummy but have not been given their dummy on a particular occasion (Unicef, 2005). The baby friendly institute however are notorious for being...