Don't let your baby sleep in your bed; DRINK AND DRUG LINK TO COT DEATHS.Byline: CLAIRE BRENNAN
MORE than half of cot deaths take place when a baby is sharing a bed with an adult, a survey revealed yesterday.
Experts have warned parents about the dangers of sleeping next to an infant, particularly if they are smokers.
Drinking or taking drugs prior to falling asleep with a baby also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death, sudden, unexpected, and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age (usually between two weeks and eight months old). .
A team of researchers in Bristol and Warwick universities studied all unexpected deaths of babies aged 0 to 24 months between 2003 and 2006.
And the worrying statistics show 54% of the 80 tragedies examined by the researchers happened while the child was sleeping with a parent.
A fifth of victims were found with a pillow and a quarter were swaddled.
So, experts are now urging parents to avoid sleeping with their child - especially if they drink or take drugs.
Lead author Prof Peter Fleming said: "We have been able to look at the conditions that make sharing a bed or sofa with a parent hazardous.
"People understand the implications of drinking and driving and the vast majority follow that advice.
"So, we want parents - if they've had a drink or taken drugs - not to co-sleep with their baby.
"It's believed alcohol and drugs can impair im·pair
tr.v. im·paired, im·pair·ing, im·pairs
To cause to diminish, as in strength, value, or quality: an injury that impaired my hearing; a severe storm impairing communications. parents' ability to wake up."
Although taking a newborn to bed holds massive risks, new research shows falling asleep on an armchair with a baby can be 25 times more dangerous. Up to 17% of parents surveyed admitted nodding off with a tot on a sofa.
The survey also looked at a link between cot deaths and poverty.
Parents were interviewed shortly after the death of their baby and questioned about their drinking and drug-taking habits.
Up to 31% of young mums with low incomes admitted to such behaviour prior to a cot death cot death
n. Chiefly British
Sudden infant death syndrome.
the unexplained sudden death of a baby while asleep
Noun 1. .
Prof Fleming said: "The safest place for an infant to sleep is in a cot beside the parental bed in the first six months of life."
A spokeswoman for the Sudden Infant Death Noun 1. infant death - sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep
cot death, crib death, SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome Register in Ireland welcomed the findings but warned cosleeping must be dealt with carefully.
She said: "Many breast-feeding parents sleep with their infants and we don't want to discourage breast-feeding.
"However, if you are a smoker smoker A person who smokes tobacco, almost always understood to be cigarettes Ratio of ♂:♀ smokers Philippines64/19, China61/7, Saudi Arabia53/2, Russia50/12 , have drank alcohol or taken drugs, you should not fall asleep with your child."
WARNING Professor Peter Fleming POTENTIAL RISK Having your baby in bed with you could lead to sudden infant death syndrome