Sudden infant death syndrome

The following is a press release and fact sheet from the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths with results from a new opinion poll of parents with young babies on whether they remember a health professional discussing the reduce the risk of cot death advice with them.

Key Findings

 

Total

Scotland

North of England

Midlands

South

London

Yes

70%

76%

87%

72%

65%

54%

If a midwife or health visitor did discuss reducing the risk of cot death with you was this:

 

Total

Scotland

North of England

Midlands

South

London

By a midwife during pregnancy

49%

59%

63%

39%

61%

19%

By a midwife in the day or two after you
had your baby

42%

17%

515

40%

35%

57%

By a health visitor or midwife in your
home in the days after you had your baby

46%

59%

38%

53%

35%

55%

By a health visitor at a later date

11%

14%

7%

6%

21%

11%

Don’t know

4%

2%

12%

6%

Consistent approach to offering cot death advice needed.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, with support from grobag®, has carried out an opinion poll of new parents about whether their midwife or health visitor discussed how to reduce the risk of cot death with them 3. Nearly one third of parents (31%) said that they had not or that they had no recollection of a discussion. There are large regional variations with, for example, 54% in London recalling a discussion compared with 87% in the North of England.

Other key findings show that many health professionals are discussing the advice too late. Less than half (49%) of parents who did recall a discussion reported that it took place during the pregnancy yet it is important to discuss the advice at that stage so parents can know to cut smoking, what bedding is safe to buy and to sleep baby on the back from day one.

Joyce Epstein, FSID director, said:
Promotion of advice to reduce the risk of cot death is patchy, varying according to where the baby is born, and may come too late, after inappropriate bedding has been bought or other unsafe arrangements made. Although most midwives and health visitors are doing a great job, we need to try to ensure that everybody gets the right advice at the right time. If everyone followed the Reduce the Risk message, we estimate cot deaths could be cut by over half right now.

Rob Holmes, Director of grobag® said:
We are delighted to be the sponsors of this great new sticker. Parents can often feel bombarded by advice and it does not always sink in. This new sticker is clear, colourful and accessible, focusing on the key steps to reduce the risk of cot death such as sleeping babies on the back and avoiding overheating.

Sally Inch, midwife and FSID advisor said:
Midwives are doing a fantastic job around the country but often lack the resources to make the lifesaving cot death advice stick. When you consider how much information midwives have to impart to new parents it is very encouraging to learn that almost three quarters of them recalled receiving advice on cot death prevention from their midwife. Hopefully these colourful new stickers will help all parents remember how to give their babies the chance of a lifetime

Visit our Reduce the risks of cot death page

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