Tuesday, October 01, 2013

News vs. Risk Analysis

To sell stuff and get attention, you have to make people afraid.  Like this:  Parents-share-bed-with-babies-despite-risks-survey-says we will all die soon!  News at 11!

The actual data.  Click for an even less frightening image.  The "risk" has fallen, dramatically.

There is actually an AMA "Child Care Providers' Guide to 'Safe Sleep'".  I'm pretty sure I would sleep better if the medical profession would stop trying to make extra money by frightening people with half-truths and made up dangers.

Nod to SdM.


Tom said...

I wondered: how does one do a study to connect SIDS with sleeping arrangements? No, I mean a blind study; it seems a difficult thing to do, not letting parents know if they're sleeping with their infants.

So... not a peep. There's not one word in the article about any study. Now, I'm scared.

Hasdrubal said...

Wow, infant mortality has dropped by a third in 27 years? How is this not news? That's seriously impressive, I would have thought we would have gotten all the low hanging fruit by the 90s. We're still significantly worse than most of the OECD countries, about twice as high as most of western Europe, but that's a very impressive trend.

Natalie said...

most of the "studies" combine any-child-not-sleeping-alone-in-crib and compare those to children who sleep in cribs.

It's a really bad way to categorize sleep and makes co-sleeping look OH SO DANGEROUS WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Of course, I co-slept with my daughter for the 2.5 years she was nursing and still get an extra in the bed most nights.