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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 00:39 GMT
Over-heating puts babies at risk
Baby on back in cot
Babies shouldn't be too hot
Parents could be putting their babies at an increased risk of cot death by overheating them without realising it, research finds.

The survey, by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, found 56% of parents did not know the correct room temperature for their baby.

One in five thought it should be hotter than the recommended range of 16-20C (61-68F).

Four out of ten parents thought their home was cooler than it actually was.

How to reduce cot death risk
Place your baby on its back
Mothers and fathers should stop smoking in the pregnancy
No one should smoke in the baby's room
Do not let the baby get too hot
Keep the baby's head uncovered
Place your baby with their feet to the foot of the cot
Just one in five correctly guessing the temperature within 2C.

Yet only a third of families with young babies have a room thermometer in the room where their baby sleeps.

One mother, Lavinia Postlethwaite's first daughter died at 10 weeks from cot death.

Lavinia conceded that she may have been dressed too warmly in her cot.

She said: "I didn't know - I thought it was the best thing I could do for her."

Joyce Epstein, FSID's Director, said: "Babies who get too hot are at an increased risk of cot death.

"Our message to parents is: look at and touch your baby to see if they are too warm, and keep an eye on the room temperature.

"Getting a simple room thermometer will help you create a safer sleep environment for your baby."

If a baby is sweating, then they are too hot. Cold hands and feet are nothing to worry about.

The best way to cool a baby down is to remove one or more layers of blankets.

Babies who are unwell need fewer, not more bedclothes.

A total of 187 parents with babies aged under one year took part in the survey.

The BBC's Vicki Young
"For most, a common-sense approach is best"

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21 Jul 03  |  Health
Controversy surrounds cot death
16 Apr 02  |  Health
Smoking linked to cot death
18 Apr 03  |  Health
Q&A: Cot Death
24 Oct 01  |  Health

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