Study: Most SIDS-Related Online Content Is Inaccurate August 2, 2012
Washington, DC—According to a new study from Children’s National Medical Center, the majority of information found online on safe infant sleep recommendations is inaccurate. The study, “Safe Infant Sleep Recommendations on the Internet: Let’s Google It,” published in the Journal of Pediatrics, searched 13 SIDS-related key phrases and analyzed the top 100 websites using Google.
Led by pediatrician and SIDS researcher Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., the team judged accuracy of information against the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations, which were updated in 2011.
Of the 1,300 websites reviewed, 43.5 percent provided accurate information, 28.1 percent inaccurate information and 28.4 percent of information was not relevant. The search terms that provided the highest percentage of accurate information were “infant cigarette smoking,” “infant sleep position,” and “infant sleep surface.” The search terms “pacifier infant,” “infant home monitors,” and “infant co-sleeping” provided the lowest percentage of accurate information.
Dr. Moon cites two factors that make these finding particularly troubling: 70
percent of adults use the Internet for health-related information and decisions, and parents are more likely to discount information when there are contradictory sources.
“There is so much for sleep-deprived parents to think about with an infant at home, which makes it all the more important to provide accurate information,” advises Dr. Moon.
Dr. Moon recommends parents visit sites with trusted information. The study found that government sites and the AAP were the most accurate. Blogs and product websites were least accurate. Parents should ask their pediatrician for good resources.
Contact Emily Dammeyer or Emily Hartman, Public Relations: 202.476.4500.
About Children’s National Medical Center Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. Children’s National is a Magnet® designated hospital. With 303 beds and eight regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of acute pediatric services in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information, visit ChildrensNational.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.