Introduction–To protect against SUID/SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released recommendations on creating a safe sleep environment. Studies about teen parents indicate gaps in knowledge regarding infant safe sleep practices, however there are no published studies about adolescents who are preconception. The objective of this stud is to investigate adolescents’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding infant safe sleep practices prior to conceiving.

Methods–This was a cross-sectional study of adolescents aged 14-22 years recruited from two outpatient primary care pediatric sites in Southern NJ. Following consent, participants completed a 27-question survey about infant safe sleep practices. For analysis, a knowledge score was calculated on a scale of 1-100% and differences by ethnicity, race, age, gender, and caregiver experience were evaluated.

Results–A total of 147 subjects were enrolled. Forty-three participants (27.9%) self-identified as Hispanic or Latino, 53 (39.0%) as Black or African American, and 65 (47.8%) as Caucasian. The mean knowledge scores were 47.25%, 55%, and 53.33% for Blacks, Caucasians, and other races, respectively (p=.009). There were no significant differences in knowledge scores between gender, age group, Hispanic ethnicity, or caregiver experience. Eighty-two subjects (55%) identified preconception as an ideal time period to learn about safe sleep practices.

Discussion–A significant knowledge gap was observed among subjects, and Black subjects had the lowest knowledge scores. Most adolescents identified preconception as an ideal time period to learn about infant safe sleep practices. Safe sleep promotion may be enhanced through SUID/SIDS education in high schools, or conversations during adolescent well visits.


Please see the cover letter for our responses to reviewers' comments and questions.



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