Key Findings From A Survey of Parents With Babies Aged Under One and their Recollection of Whether A Health Professional Discussed how to Reduce the Risk of Cot Death

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths and safe sleep specialist grobag

A consistent approach to advice on reducing the risk of cots deaths is critical, according to the Foundation for the Study of Infants Deaths.

In a recent survey of 162 parents with a baby aged under one, nearly a third said they had no recollection of a midwife or health visitor talking to them about how to reduce the risk of cot death.

Advice given by midwives or health visitors varies according to where a baby is born. For example, only 54% of those questioned in London recalled a discussion compared with 87% in the north of England.

Of those who did remember discussing the subject, less than half reported that this took place during pregnancy. Yet early advice is important so that parents know to cut out smoking, know what bedding is safe to buy, and know to lay their babies on their backs from day one.

The foundation is working with grobag to prompt early discussion about the risk of cot death by sending stickers to maternity units and Sure Start programme centres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to stick on parent-held notes for pregnant women, on hospital cots and on parent-held baby health notes.

Joyce Epstein FSID director said: “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.”

FSID helpline: 0870 7870554

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