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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Over two years 25 babies died while sleeping with adults

27th May 2010

New figures have shown that over the past two years in Britain at least 25 babies have died while sleeping with an adult on a sofa.

Baby Ward

The findings come from statistics collected by the newly-established Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP) and the Metropolitan Police and obtained by the cot death charity The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID).

The charity said the statistics showed that parents were still choosing one of the most dangerous places in the home to sleep with their babies.

A number of earlier studies have shown that adults falling asleep on a sofa increases the risk of an infant dying suddenly by 50-fold.

FSID director Joyce Epstein said: ''This information confirms that warnings about the dangers of sofa sharing with small babies have not changed parents' practices, infants still sleep in risky environments.

''More lives could be saved, if every parent, carer and grandparent recognised that while a sofa may be a comfortable place for them to sleep it is the most dangerous place for a baby.''

The CDOP is made up of representatives from public health, local child health and social care services and the police.

It meets regularly to review child death and makes representations to the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). Deaths of all under 18s must be reviewed by the CDOP on behalf of the LSCB.

The safest place for baby to sleep during the first six months of life, according to the FSID and the Department of Health, is in a separate cot in a room.


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