A recent study showed smartphone tech can assist parents in sudden infant death syndrome prevention.
Researchers at the University of Virginia, Yale University and Boston University have determined that mobile health technology may help parents save their newborns’ lives. The researchers conducted a study using mobile tech to support parents in preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep related death risks in their babies.
The mhealth technology used only the most basic mobile phone functions to help educate parents.
Participants in the study received texts from hospitals to help them learn how to protect infants from SIDS, suffocation, strangulation and other unknown causes of baby death during sleep. There were 1,000 mothers who participated in the study through 16 American hospitals. The strategy involved the use of informational texts, emails and videos to inform and assist the mothers in keeping their babies safe.
The mobile health technology communications were meant to anticipate upcoming questions from mothers.
These various media interventions were sent directly to the mother’s mobile phone and provided information regarding safe baby sleep practices.
“We tried to time the videos that parents got to the periods of time when we anticipated that they would have questions or would encounter barriers,” said UVA Pediatrics’ Dr. Rachel Moon.
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Participating parents would be sent a text that said something to the nature of “Do you ever worry about your baby choking when he or she is lying down on his or her back?” From there, the mother would be provided with a link to a video with information to help ease those concerns through appropriate prevention techniques.
The safe sleep practice recommendations made to the mothers were those generally offered by the medical community as a whole such as keeping a baby in the same room as the mother, though not in the mother’s bed, avoiding the use of pacifiers during sleep time and avoiding the use of soft bedding that risks suffocation or strangulation.
The mobile health technology research determined that 92.5 percent of participating mothers complied with the instructions regarding placing their babies on their back to sleep. Another 86 percent complied with room sharing without also sharing a bed. The researchers concluded that parents were learning from and using this “baseline amount of information” that they required, said Moon.