Cot Death (SIDS)
Causes and Prevention of Cot Death
What is cot death?
Cot death is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby. After the post-mortem examination, the cause of death remains unexplained and may be registered as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sudden infant death, sudden unexpected death in infancy, unascertained or cot death.
Cot death causes
No single cause has been identified. Researchers believe a number of different, undiscovered causes are likely,or that a combination of factors affect babies at a particularly vulnerable stage of their development.
Who's at risk?
Most cot deaths occur when the baby is under the age of six months, and can happen anywhere, not only in a cot.
About 300 babies aged under one die each year in the UK.
The risk is greater in boys, premature babies and those of low birth weight and babies whose parents smoke.
Preventing cot death
It's not possible to prevent cot death from occurring, but there are ways to reduce the risk:
Place babies on their back to sleep
Don't smoke during pregnancy (this applies to both parents)
Don't allow people to smoke in the same room as your baby
Don't allow your baby to get too hot
Keep your baby's head uncovered - their feet should be to the foot of the cot to stop them wriggling down under the covers
Don't fall asleep with your baby on the sofa or in an armchair
Don't share your bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke, have been drinking alcohol, are taking medication or drugs that cause drowsiness, are excessively tired, or if your baby was premature or was small at birth
Put your baby's cot in your bedroom for the first six months
Apply the same measures when your baby sleeps during the day
Settling your baby to sleep with a dummy - even for naps - can reduce the risk of cot death, even if the dummy falls out while your baby is asleep
All above information is taken from BBC Health
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