Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Volume 5, Pages 550-557
Review Article

A Reassessment of the SIDS Back to Sleep Campaign

1Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
2The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA
3Carrick Institute for Clinical Ergonomics, Rehabilitation and Applied Neuroscience, School of Engineering Technologies, State University of New York, College at Farmingdale, Lupton Hall, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735, USA

Received 1 June 2005; Revised 30 June 2005; Accepted 30 June 2005

Copyright © 2005 Ralph Pelligra et al.


The Back to Sleep Campaign was initiated in 1994 to implement the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) recommendation that infants be placed in the nonprone sleeping position to reduce the risk of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This paper offers a challenge to the Back to Sleep Campaign (BTSC) from two perspectives: (1) the questionable validity of SIDS mortality and risk statistics, and (2) the BTSC as human experimentation rather than as confirmed preventive therapy.

The principal argument that initiated the BTSC and that continues to justify its existence is the observed parallel declines in the number of infants placed in the prone sleeping position and the number of reported SIDS deaths. We are compelled to challenge both the implied causal relationship between these observations and the SIDS mortality statistics themselves.