Clothing, bedding & infant thermal care
Human infants are born with immature thermoregulatory systems and a much higher capacity than adults to lose heat; it takes most of their first year for their thermoregulation mechanisms to mature and be able to cope with extremes of temperature. Both excessive wrapping, and too little clothing, may affect infant health in terms of growth, resistance to infection, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Different societies have different beliefs about how much clothing and bedding an infant needs and what dangers the heat and cold pose to the infant. The purpose of this research will be to explore and compare the thermal care of infants at night by white British and South Asian mothers and to ultimately bring together existing clinical evidence on appropriate thermal care of infants, with particular reference to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and enhance evidence and understanding about infant dressing practices and beliefs.
Anna Cronin-de-Chavez is running the Infant Wrapping Practices study currently being conducted in Keighley in the District of Bradford.