Safe Infant Sleep Recommendations on the Internet: Lets Google It

The Journal of Pediatrics, 08/15/2012

Chung M et al. – The Internet contains much information about infant sleep safety that is inconsistent with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. Health care providers should realize the extent to which parents may turn to the Internet for information about infant sleep safety.

Methods

  • The authors searched for advice using 13 key phrases and analyzed the first 100 Web sites for each phrase.
  • Web sites were categorized by type and assessed for accuracy of information provided, based on AAP recommendations.
  • The accuracy of information was classified as “accurate,” “inaccurate,” or “not relevant.”

Results

  • Overall, 43.5% of the 1300 Web sites provided accurate information, 28.1% provided inaccurate information, and 28.4% were not relevant.
  • The search terms “infant cigarette smoking,” “infant sleep position,” and “infant sleep surface” yielded the highest percentage of Web sites with accurate information.
  • “Pacifier infant,” “infant home monitors,” and “infant co–sleeping” produced the lowest percentage of Web sites with accurate information. Government Web sites had the highest rate of accuracy; blogs, the lowest.

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