Cot death is also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and affects about one baby in every 1500. It is a term used to describe the death of a baby or infant, which occurs without warning or known reason. If a post mortem fails to find an adequate cause of death, then cot death will usually be recorded as the cause.
Despite all the research that is carried out into cot death, a definite cause has not been found. Although researchers are getting closer to discovering why some babies suffer cot death.
Advice on how to reduce the risks is available, guidelines to follow are:
- Immunisation is thought to lower a baby’s risk.
- Place your baby on their backs.
- Have their feet touching the foot of the cot.
- Do not use duvets or pillows.
- Have sheets that you can layer in the cot, so that you can adjust the number, depending on the temperature of the room and the baby.
- The FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) recommend a room temperature of 16-20oc, where your baby is sleeping.
- Do not let your baby get too hot or too cold.
- Make sure the sheets cannot move up over your baby’s face.
- Do not sleep with your baby in bed with you.
- Never sleep with your baby on the sofa.
- If you are worried that your baby seems unwell, consult your doctor.
- Do not smoke when pregnant.
- Do not allow anyone to smoke around your baby.
It has been found that the risk of cot death is higher for premature babies and babies that had a low birth weight. More boys are victims’ girls.
For more information on cot death and support for bereaved families visit the website for The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths >> or call their helpline 020 7233 2090
For help to give up smoking call NHS pregnancy smoking helpline 0800 169 9169 or go to the Go Smoke Free >> website.