A Comparison of Infant Sleep Safety Guidelines in Nine Industrialized Countries


Many countries have guidelines that recommend safety practices for infant sleep. However, it is not known whether guidelines between countries are similar or different. The purpose of this paper is to compare national public health infant sleep safety guidelines among highly developed countries. Criteria for inclusion were: countries defined by United Nations as “very high human development,” guideline related to infant sleep position and safety practices, evidence of it being a national guideline, and published in English. Guidelines from nine countries met inclusion criteria, and data were extracted across 13 categories. All guidelines recommended the supine sleep position and avoidance of smoke exposure. While most guidelines addressed the remaining 11 categories, specific recommendations varied among guidelines. These findings can inform the broad context of SIDS reduction work, offer opportunities for collaboration among countries, and promote multi-country and global conversations about how research evidence is translated into recommendations for practice.

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This work was not supported with funding.

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Correspondence to Jennifer J. Doering.

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Doering, J.J., Salm Ward, T.C., Strook, S. et al. A Comparison of Infant Sleep Safety Guidelines in Nine Industrialized Countries. J Community Health 44, 81–87 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-018-0556-3

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  • Infant
  • Sleep
  • Safety
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome