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Design for the most vulnerable: Preventing sudden infant death

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Title: Design for the most vulnerable: Preventing sudden infant death
Author(s): Elwell, Michael P., Jr.
Advisor(s): McDonagh, Deana
Department / Program: Art & Design
Discipline: Art and Design
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.F.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed Prone Sleeping Supine Sleeping Empathic Design
Abstract: There has been a significant decrease in Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) since 1992, which may be a direct result of public awareness programs promoting supine sleep position (e.g. Back to Sleep Campaign). However, over 2000 infants in the United States still die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) each year. While several risk factors for SIDS have been identified, the root cause(s) remains relatively unknown. SIDS can happen to any infant, regardless of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Studies have shown that infants who sleep on their backs in a structurally sound crib are far less likely to die of SIDS and Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in bed (ASSB). Infants who sleep supine have a lower arousal threshold, increasing their chances of survival during oxygen deprivation. The crib offers a safer sleeping environment than co-sleeping, as the weight of a parent or the soft material of a pillow can easily suffocate an infant. This thesis discusses and illustrates the design process for a crib that reduces the risk of SIDS and ASSB. The process utilizes empathic design research strategies, benchmarking of current design solutions, and a cross-cultural examination of infant sleep position. The result is a product that carefully considers the product interaction for both parent and child.
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/24347
Rights Information: Copyright 2011 Michael P. Elwell
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05
 

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