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Type: Journal article
Title: Floor mattresses: Another potentially dangerous infant sleeping environment
Author: Byard, R.
Winskog, C.
Citation: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2011; 47(8):554-556
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1034-4810
Statement of
Roger W Byard and Calle Winskog
Abstract: Aim: To identify and characterise cases of infant deaths where the fatal episodes were considered to be because of positional asphyxia from wedging and/or suffocation associated with sleeping on or near a mattress that had been placed on a floor. Methods: Retrospective review of autopsy cases from Forensic Science SA, Adelaide, Australia, was performed over a 10-year period from January 2001 to December 2009 to identify such cases. Results: A total of five deaths were identified. In three cases, infants were wedged between the sides of mattresses and a wall or a sofa. In one case, the infant’s head was wedged between a mattress side and a chest of drawers, and in the remaining case, the head was pressed into a plastic bag containing clothes. The age range was 2–10 months, with a male-to-female ratio of 3:2. Conclusions: Although such deaths are not common, they may be more prevalent when there is overcrowding and reduced sleeping space. While the ideal situation is to provide an infant with his or her own sleeping space, infants sleeping on or near floor mattresses can have the risk of asphyxiation reduced if such mattresses are not located close to furniture or walls, and are not near items such as soft materials or plastic sheeting that could cause airway obstruction.
Keywords: asphyxia; floor; mattress; sudden infant death; sudden infant death syndrome.
Rights: © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
RMID: 0020113520
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02020.x
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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