Effect of “This Side Up” T-shirts on Infant Sleep Position

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ObjectivesTo assess the impact of “This Side Up” T-shirts on parental practices in Nebraska.MethodsA random sample of 3,210 Nebraska women who gave birth in 2004, stratified by race/ethnicity, was mailed a brief questionnaire on their receipt of a T-shirt and SIDS risk reduction materials at their birthing hospital, and on infant sleep position.ResultsResponse rates were low (25.9%), ranging from 10.6% for Native American mothers to 46.4% for White mothers. Half (52.0%) had received a T-shirt and 71.6% had received SIDS information. Two-thirds (64.0%) reported that their infants slept on their backs; African-American and Hispanic infants were significantly less likely to back sleep. In univariate logistic regression models, African-American race, Hispanic ethnicity and maternal age 30–39 were significant negative predictors of back sleeping; White race and having received a SIDS brochure were positive predictors. In the fully controlled model African American and Asian race and Hispanic ethnicity were negative predictors of back sleeping; neither receiving SIDS information nor the infant T-shirt was significant. Effects of maternal age and a SIDS informational brochure appeared in models stratified by race/ethnicity.ConclusionsIn these data, receiving an infant T-shirt was not related to how mothers placed their infants to sleep. Additional research is needed on effective methods of delivering targeted counseling and promoting safe sleep practices among families, particularly among racial and ethnic subgroups.

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