Unexplained infant deaths at all-time low22nd August 2012
Data released by the Office for National Statistics has shown the number of cot deaths is "at an all time low".
The ONS figures showed unexplained infant deaths decreased from 279 in 2009 to 254 in 2010 in England and Wales, at a rate of 0.35 per 1,000 live births.
However, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths said more work was needed to decrease the number of deaths in North West England.
The region has the highest number of cot deaths in the country, with 0.53 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Francine Bates, the charity's chief executive, said the region had shown the highest number of deaths for the last seven years and it was "extremely concerning".
She added: "We know that smoking is a major risk factor for sudden infant death... the smoking rate for the North West is above the national average."
Other factors to reduce the risk of infant death include putting babies on their back to go to sleep and not having them in the same bed as their parents.
The number of unexplained deaths in babies younger than 12 months old has been falling steadily since 2005, when the rate was 0.5 per 1,000 live births.
The drop in death rates has been associated with the Back to Sleep campaign, which was started in 1991.
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Title: Unexplained infant deaths at all-time low
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22554
Date Added: 22nd Aug 2012