On the agenda - New findings on cot death risks

In a nutshell Babies are safest sleeping in their own cots, according to new research. A four-year study by Bristol University was published in the British Medical Journal last week. The study was funded by The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), and found that in half of all unexpected deaths of children in the South West, babies had died sleeping with a parent or carer.

Cot deaths: risks revealed
Cot deaths: risks revealed

What else was found?

The results of a separate survey commissioned by the FSID found that a quarter of mums were not persuaded bedsharing could increase the risk of cot death. The survey of infant care practices in the UK, carried out by Ipsos Mori for FSID, questioned 506 mothers of children aged six months to three years. The results also showed a high degree of disbelief in other key FSID 'Reduce the Risk' campaign messages.

What is the significance of the study?

FSID director Joyce Epstein said: 'The survey results are alarming. We know that those at greatest risk of experiencing a cot death are very young mums, often single, and still in their teens, and this group is the most likely to reject safe-sleep advice.'

PR team involved

The FSID's in-house team, led by press and campaigns manager Louisa Mullan, sent out a press release with the findings to the national, broadcast and trade press.

Media coverage

The story was covered by the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. It was also widely discussed on BBC Breakfast News.

300 - babies die every year as cot deaths in the UK

70% - reduction in sudden infant deaths since 1991.

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