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J Pediatr. 2012 Dec;161(6):1080-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Safe infant sleep recommendations on the Internet: let's Google it.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA.



To determine the accuracy of information on infant sleep safety on the Internet using Google. We hypothesized that the majority of Web sites would accurately reflect the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for infant sleep safety.


We 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."


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.


The Internet contains much information about infant sleep safety that is inconsistent with AAP recommendations. Health care providers should realize the extent to which parents may turn to the Internet for information about infant sleep safety.

Copyright © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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