About one in six sudden infant deaths may be linked to their mothers' heavy alcohol use during or soon after pregnancy, according to a new study from Australia.
Researchers found those deaths may result from babies being exposed to alcohol in the womb and from alcohol-using mothers creating hazardous environments for the babies after birth, according to a report published by Reuter's news.
“One of the morals of the story is that parents should be very careful about drinking alcohol, especially if you're a single parent because there is no other parent to back you up,” said David Phillips, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has studied alcohol-related infant deaths but wasn't involved in the new research.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines sudden infant death syndrome as the death of a child under one year old with no obvious cause.A About 4,500 infant deaths of this sort occur in the U.S,. annually.
Previously, researchers have tied SIDS to parents' smoking and to unsafe environments, but few studies have looked at whether alcohol isa culprit