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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, October 27, 2002

SIDS risk affirmed

American researchers have conducted the most definitive study of its kind to show that infants who sleep on their stomachs have increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The study focused primarily on SIDS cases among African Americans, a group at roughly twice the risk for SIDS than are Caucasians. The findings were published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

The study results provide support for the American Academy of Pediatrics' 1992 and 1996 recommendations that infants be placed to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. The research also underscores the urgency of current programs to ensure that African Americans receive this recommendation.

Costume tough love

Frustrated by your child's lack of commitment when it comes to choosing a Halloween costume? Some advice from "Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy" (Scribner, $30):

"In our house, each child has 24 hours to change his or her mind after the costume consultation. Warn the children ahead of time and be firm! If you waver, Dear Reader, you will forever find yourself in a purgatory of regret come each Halloween.

"Inevitably, one year little Minnie May will decide she 'really wants to be a princess' instead of a fluffy kitten, even as you are up to your ears in fake-fur shreds. This domestic scene is very scary. Respond gently, but with resolve: 'That is a lovely idea, dear. For next year.' "

Trick-or-treat tips

Honolulu Fire Chief Attilio Leonardi issued tips for Halloween:

  • Responsible adults or teens should be with trick-or-treaters.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Stay in your neighborhood, on well-lit streets.
  • Use sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Only approach houses with lights on, a signal that you're welcome to trick-or-treat there.
  • Have an adult inspect the contents before eating any candy.
  • Never go into a stranger's house or accept rides from one.