NEWS: Number of cot deaths reaches record low

The number of unexplained baby deaths has dropped to a record low for the second year running.

Figures show the number of Sudden Infant Deaths (SIDS) fell from 216 in 2014 to 191 in 2015.

The numbers, released by the Office for National Statistics today, show the number of SIDs has fallen by 29 per cent since 2013.

Greater awareness

The fall has been credited to a reduction in smoking among pregnant and new mums, and increased awareness of safer sleep advice.

Cot death awareness charity the Lullaby Trust said although rates have declined by more than a third in 10 years, it was important for parents not to be complacent.

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said: “The further reduction in SIDS rates for 2015 is extremely positive and demonstrates the effectiveness of following safer sleep advice and the importance of making sure that advice reaches all parents and carers.

“The Lullaby Trust has been campaigning over the past 25 years to ensure that this happens. Although SIDS rates have decreased significantly over the past decade, 191 babies still died in 2015 and the risk has not gone away.

“We need to ensure that parents continue to recognise the vital importance of following safer sleep advice. Only by making all families aware of the steps they can take to help protect their babies, can we save more lives and drive the number down.”

Back to sleep

Before 1991 around 2,000 babies died from SIDS each year in the UK and sleeping babies on their front was common practice.

Following the high profile Back to Sleep campaign, which advised all parents to sleep their babies on their backs, SIDS rates have reduced by 85 per cent.

The cause of SIDS remains unknown but the advice to parents on how they can reduce the risk is scientifically proven.

For information on safer sleep visit The Lullaby Trust.

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