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MUMS WARNED ON COT DEATHS.

Byline: HELEN CLARKE

MERSEYSIDE parents are being warned their babies face a higher risk of cot death if they share a bed with them.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) has changed its advice after new research into the cot death risk factors.

Previously it had assumed that under normal circumstances sleeping with your baby was safe and even beneficial.

Only when a mother smoked or had been drinking or taking drugs was the practice thought to be dangerous.

But new research published in The Lancet medical journal says all beds haring could be unsafe for infants in the first eight weeks of life.

Consultant paediatrician at Alder Hey children's hospital Dr John Sills is backing the new research and said: ``I would advise taking notice of what the research shows.

``Parents should be careful about taking small babies to bed and shouldn't go to sleep with them.

``If they do take them they should make sure they go back in their cot or make sure they have some way of making sure they are not falling asleep, such as setting an alarm for five or 10 minutes.''

The European study looked at 745 cot death cases and confirmed a range of other risk factors that were already known.

They included babies being placed face down, having their heads covered in bedding, and sleeping under a duvet.

Smoking in the home was also linked to cot death.

The research also found that six out of 10 of all cot death cases in Europe could probably be attributed to lying babies on their front or side.

There were 200-250 cases of cot death in the England and Wales in 2001.4 A fall in the number of cot deaths has been attribut ed to campaigns advising mothers to place babi es on their ba cks to sleep.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 16, 2004
Words:309
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