Half of cot deaths 'happen while co-sleeping'

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London, Oct 14 (ANI): More than half of sudden unexplained infant deaths happen while the baby is in bed or on a sofa with a parent, a new study suggests.

The research has been published in the online British Medical Journal.

To reach the conclusion, a team of researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Warwick studied all unexpected infant deaths from birth to two years in the southwest region of England from January 2003 to December 2006.

In order to investigate a possible link between SIDS and socioeconomic deprivation, they compared these deaths with a control group at 'high risk' for SIDS (young, socially deprived mothers who smoked) as well as a randomly selected control group.

Parents were interviewed shortly after the death and information was collected on alcohol and drug use. A detailed investigation of the scene and circumstances of death was also conducted by trained professionals.

Of the 80 SIDS deaths analysed, more than half occurred whilst co-sleeping compared to 20 percent co-sleeping rate amongst both control groups.

Much of this risk may be explained by the combination of parental alcohol or drug use prior to co-sleeping, and the high proportion of co-sleeping deaths on a sofa, say the authors.

A fifth of SIDS infants were found with a pillow for the last sleep and a quarter were swaddled, suggesting potentially new risk factors emerging. (ANI)

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