The Alberta Infant Motor Scales (AIMS) is a reliable and valid assessment tool to evaluate the motor performance from birth to independent walking. This study aimed to determine whether the Canadian reference values on the AIMS from 1990-1992 are still useful tor Flemish infants, assessed in 2007-2010. Additionally, the association between motor performance and sleep and play positioning will be determined.
A total of 270 Flemish infants between 0 and 18 months, recruited by formal day care services, were assessed with the AIMS by four trained physiotherapists. Information about sleep and play positioning was collected by mean of a questionnaire.
Flemish infants perform significantly lower on the AIMS compared with the reference values (P 6 m: P = 0.013). Infants who are placed often to frequently in a sitting device in the first 6 months of life (P = 0.010) and in supine after 6 months (P = 0.001) performed significantly lower than those who are placed less in it.
Flemish infants recruited by formal day care services, show significantly lower motor scores than the Canadian norm population. New reference values should be established for the AIMS for accurate identification of infants at risk. Prevention of sudden infant death syndrome by promoting supine sleep position should go together with promotion of tummy time when awake and avoiding to spent too much time in sitting devices when awake.