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Smart Baby Monitors do not Prevent SIDS

Update Date: Nov 20, 2014 05:58 PM EST

Over the past few years, manufacturers have created smart baby monitors. Despite the fact that these monitors can assess health, they cannot effectively prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a new editorial wrote. The author, David King, a clinical lecturer in pediatrics at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, added that these monitors give parents a false sense of hope.

SIDS can occur unexpectedly in infants regardless of health. It typically occurs when infants end up sleeping on their stomachs as opposed to their backs, causing them to suffocate. In the editorial, King argued that these new smart baby monitors that track infants' health are misleading. Even though manufacturers did not say that the monitors could lower risk of SIDS, many of the monitors were created due to parents' fears about the syndrome.

"Home monitoring may be justified in some situations, such as for preterm infants or infants who need oxygen," King wrote according to TIME. "But in these cases parents and other caregivers should be trained in observation techniques, operation of the monitor, and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation."

King added that these monitors were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and should not be used as a preventive measure. The American Academy of Pediatrics also does not recommend parents to use these devices as a way to lower risk of SIDS. The manufacturers should increase consumers' awareness and remind them that these devices will not prevent SIDS.

King also stated that medical professionals should not recommend smart baby monitors to help ease parents' fears. Instead, medical professionals should be giving advice on the many different techniques that parents can do to prevent SIDS.

The paper, "Marketing wearable home baby monitors: real peace of mind?" was published in the BMJ.

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