ISSN - 0973-0958

Pediatric Oncall Journal View Article

Accidental Strangulation: A Rare but Potential Risk of Co-Sleeping
Kei Wong, Gunjan Tiyyagura, Melissa L Langhan.
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA.
The sleeping arrangements of young children may depend on factors such as socioeconomic limitations and cultural beliefs. Approximately 3,700 infants die annually in the United States from sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID), including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and less frequently reported, strangulation of the neck because of hair tourniquet syndrome when a young child co-sleeps with family members who have long hair. This case report describes a 13-month old male who was brought to the pediatric emergency department after he was found entangled with his mother’s hair around his neck. The mother was awoken by her son’s movement, struggling to breathe in bed. Given the unusual nature of the event, presentation of the child with diffuse facial petechiae and circumferential ligature mark that extended around his neck, the child was admitted to the general pediatric ward for observation and further investigation of possible non-accidental trauma. To the best of our knowledge, only two previous case reports of such strangulation from human hair were reported within the last 2 decades. The aim of this case report is to increase physician and parental awareness of the potential danger in accidental strangulation during co-sleeping, and promote safe sleep environments.

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