Scientific consensus forum to review the evidence underpinning the recommendations of the Australian SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Health Promotion Programme – October 2010


  • Disclaimer: This statement and recommendations are not necessarily endorsed by all the participants, nor are the opinions necessarily those of the authors. The authors have attempted to capture the evidence presented, the discussions and recommendations.

Professor Ed Mitchell, Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Fax: +64 9 3737486. email:


This paper summarises a 1-day scientific consensus forum that reviewed the evidence underpinning the Australian SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Health Promotion Programme. The focus was on each of the potentially modifiable risk factors for sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents. In particular infant sleeping position, covering of the face, exposure to cigarette smoke, room sharing, unsafe sleeping environments, bed sharing, immunisation, breastfeeding, pacifier use and Indigenous issues were discussed in depth. The participants recommended that future ‘Reducing the Risk’ campaign messages should focus on back to sleep, face uncovered, avoidance of cigarette smoke before and after birth, safe sleeping environment, room sharing and sleeping baby in own cot.