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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2018 Apr;57(4):403-409. doi: 10.1177/0009922817728698. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Stock Photographs Do Not Comply With Infant Safe Sleep Guidelines.

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1 WellSpan York Hospital, York, PA, USA.
2 University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
3 Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health, Washington, DC, USA.


We evaluated images in popular stock photography websites for adherence with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for safe infant sleep practices. Three top stock photo websites were used to collect photographs generated from key phrases. All images depicting an infant sleep environment were analyzed for consistency with AAP guidelines. Descriptive statistics, chi-square and z test of proportions, were conducted. A total of 1233 of 1947 stock photographs showed sleeping infants on a flat surface. In all, 627 (50.8%) photographs showed the infant in the supine position and 79 (5%) of all infant sleep environments were adherent with AAP recommendations. Bedding inconsistent with safe sleep recommendations was identified in 1133 images (71.3%), with blankets noted in 49.5%. Images depicting sleeping infants on stock photography sites do not routinely adhere to AAP recommendations. Media messages inconsistent with health care messages create confusion and misinformation about infant sleep safety and may lead inadvertently to unsafe practices.


accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed; advertising; infant sleep environment; media; parenting; sleep positioning; sudden infant death syndrome; sudden unexpected infant death


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