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New study on repeat cot deaths

New research seeks to play down the risk of repeat cot deaths in one family.

Posted: 13 June 2007
by Laura Lee Davies

Following a study about 18 months ago – where researchers found an increased chance of a baby suffering sudden infant death syndrome (or cot death) in a family where there had already been one such tragedy – new research claims that the link was too emphasised. That is, the increased risk is not as great as it was thought.

The new research, published on the 'Archives of Disease in Childhood' reviewed eight different studies into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome carried out since 1970.
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths has welcomed the report as they feel those families who have already suffered the loss of a child in this way, may have been unneccessarily worried about losing another baby.

The FSID have given their reaction to this new study and you can read all about it here.

It’s good to be aware of the guidelines laid down by the FSID for new parents:

  • Cut smoking in pregnancy - fathers too!
  • Don't let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
  • Don't let your baby get too hot
  • Keep your baby’s head uncovered - place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent wriggling down under the covers
  • If your baby is unwell, seek medical advice promptly.
  • The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months is in a cot, in your room
  • Never sleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair
  • Never share a bed with your baby if you or your partner: are smokers (even if you don't smoke in bed or at home); feel very tired; have been drinking alcohol; take medication or drugs that make you drowsy; OR if your baby was born premature or small at birth, or is less than three months old.

There is also a risk that you might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby, or that your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of an adult bed and be injured.

Bedtime safety

  • Keep your baby's bedroom at 16-18 degrees C - as a rough guide, if you are comfortable in light clothing, it’s probably about right. Overheating is a risk factor

  • Don't use pillows - or a duvet until your baby is at least one (pillows can smother and duvets can overheat). Instead, use cotton cot blankets.

  • Don't give your baby a hot water bottle - or electric blanket

  • Don't let your baby fall asleep propped up on a cushion - on a sofa or armchair

  • Set your baby to sleep with his feet at the bottom of the cot - and his blankets or sheet tucked in so he can't wriggle further down, under the blankets during his sleep

  • Make sure your baby's mattress - is clean and dry and fits the cot snugly
For further information check

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FSID, death, sudden, syndrome, infant, SIDS

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