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Small babies more at risk of cot death

17th August 2011

A charity has warned that parents of underweight babies need to be given more information on reducing the risk of cot death.

Premature Baby

It comes as research shows that babies born weighing less than 2.5kg (5.5lb) are five times more likely to suffer cot death than those of normal weight.

While deaths have fallen by 70% after risk reduction advice was first offered to parents in the late 1980s, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) said that 316 UK babies died in 2009 from sudden infant death.

In recent years, the number of annual deaths has been about 300.

FSID chief executive Francine Bates, said: “It’s well known that parental smoking increases a baby’s risk of cot death but babies who are born underweight are also an extremely vulnerable group, particularly during the first month of life, so it's vital that their parents are given advice on how to reduce their risk.

“Low birthweight is not always the result of smoking during pregnancy and babies are born small for a variety of reasons.

“All mothers whose babies are born under 2.5kg should follow the recommendations to sleep their babies in a separate cot, in a room with them, for the first six months.”

There is also evidence of regional variation in cot death risks.

Data for 2005-2009 revealed the highest number of sudden infant deaths was in the North West.

The report says the baby’s sex - with boys more at risk - low birthweight, being a single parent and teenage pregnancy are among the risk factors.


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Article Information

Title: Small babies more at risk of cot death
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 19467
Date Added: 17th Aug 2011


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