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Research proves infant mattresses can cause sudden infant death. (Parenting).

Cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott has welcomed new research that confirms that infant mattresses cause cot death. A four-and-a-half year study by the Scottish Cot Death Trust (1) published in the British Medical Journal (November 2002) has shown that the re-use of infant mattresses triples the risk of cot death. In the U.S., cot death is called sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death.

"This research finding cannot be ignored," said Dr. Sprott. "It is crucial to cot death prevention."

From late 1994 Dr. Sprott has publicized mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention nationwide in New Zealand, and since that time a very large number of babies have slept on wrapped mattresses. There has been no reported cot death among those babies. The New Zealand cot death rate has fallen by 48 percent (2), and the European/Pakeha rate by about 75 percent.

Earlier this year, a German doctor published the results of the New Zealand mattress-wrapping campaign (3) in an overseas' journal, including statistical analysis carried out in conjunction with the University of Munich. The statistics showed that the proof of the validity of mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention was one billion billion times (4) the level of proof generally accepted by the medical community as proving a scientific proposition.

"The 100 percent success of mattress-wrapping has been proved in New Zealand over a period of nearly eight years," said Dr Sprott. "Now Scottish researchers have confirmed that mattresses cause cot death, and a German doctor has demonstrated that the proof of mattress-wrapping is vastly greater than the accepted medical standard of proof."

"The Ministry of Health, Cot Death Association ... have been dithering around over mattress-wrapping for nearly eight years," said Dr. Sprott. "During that time around 550 New Zealand babies have died needlessly of cot death. The Ministry, Cot Death Association ... have been informed time and again about the efficacy of mattress-wrapping in preventing cot death--yet they have refused to act on this life-saving information. I hold them responsible for those 550 deaths."

(1.) Tappin, et al. 2002. Used infant mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome in Scotland: Case-control study. British Medical Journal 325: 1007.

(2.) From 2.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1994 to 1.1/1000 in 2000 (provisional).

(3.) Kapuste, H. 2002. Giftige Gase im Kinderbett ("Toxic Gases in Infants' Beds"), Zeitschrift fuer Umweltmedizin No. 44; January-April 18-20.

(4.) p < 1.9 x 10 (exp. minus 22). (The generally accepted figure for medical proof is p < 1.0 x 10 (exp. minus 3)).
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Publication:Special Delivery
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Previous Article:Debates over co-sleeping. (Parenting).
Next Article:`Twas the night of a birth. (Poetry).

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