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Media spin killling babies

Posted by Graeme in Wrong at 5:34 am on Monday, 19 October 2009

I can be nice about a journalist for once, because Sarah Boseley at The Guardian has shot down the misinterpretation (once again, spin to back up government advice) of a study on the safety of allowing babies to sleep in their parents bed.

The rest of the media has been busy pumping out the message that it was better to put a baby in a cot. This appears to be an excuse to reviving discredited ideas about letting babies cry, and imposing discipline on new borns.

The worst of it is this comment by the researchers:

Any advice to discourage bed sharing may carry with it the danger of tired parents feeding their baby on a sofa, which carries a much greater risk than co-sleeping in the parents’ bed

So we have a study that actually says the opposite being used to justify advice that may cause more cot deaths. Babies may die because of a refusal to retract bad advice.

Wonderful what a bit of spin can achieve!

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