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Tuesday, 15 October, 2002, 22:59 GMT 23:59 UK
Parents unsure of cot death precautions
Baby sleeping in the correct position
Babies should sleep on their backs
One in three parents does not know how to protect their babies from cot death, a survey suggests.

Research carried out by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths found many were unaware that babies should sleep on their backs.

A large proportion was also unaware that babies should sleep with their feet at the foot of their cot.

Precautions
Babies should sleep on their backs
Keep your baby's head uncovered
They should sleep with their feet at the foot of their cot
They should be tucked in to stop them wriggling
They shouldn't get too hot
They shouldn't be exposed to smoking

Experts described the findings as alarming and urged parents who are unsure to seek advice.

UK and international research shows that sleeping babies on their back is safest, rather than on their front or side.

The Department of Health also advises that children should sleep with their feet at the foot of the cot, to prevent the baby from wriggling and getting their head covered by bedding.

Confused

However, the survey of 238 parents from across the UK showed one in three did not know about the advice.

It also showed that parents were confused when it came to tucking babies in.

Half said covers should be left loose. However, experts suggest that tucking babies in reduces the risk of cot death.

Joyce Epstein, the foundation's director, said: "On the back, feet to foot, free from the dangers of loose bedding - this is the safest way for babies to sleep.


On the back, feet to foot, free from the dangers of loose bedding - this is the safest way for babies to sleep

Joyce Epstein, FSID
"With seven babies still dying every single week, it is vitally important we continue working to hammer the 'Reduce the risk of cot death' message home with parents and carers."

The survey was sponsored by Grobag, a manufacturer of baby sleeping bags.

Its managing director Rob Holmes said: "Two thousand babies were born today. One baby died as a cot death.

"Cot death is the leading cause of death in babies over one month old in the UK and is the worst tragedy a family could ever experience.

"We must use every opportunity to make sure parents understand how to reduce the risk of cot death for their babies. We must not be complacent."

Anyone seeking advice on preventing cot death can call the foundation's helpline on 0870 787 0554.

See also:

22 Aug 02 | Health
16 Apr 02 | Health
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