Image Credit: amyelizabethquinn
Cot death is defined as "the sudden death of a infant or young child which is unexpected by history and in which a thorough post mortem examination fails to demonstrate an adequate cause for death".
The Lullaby Trust (Formerly the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) offers the following advice for parents to reduce the risk of cot death:
Sleeping with your baby in your bed with you is not recommended. It's especially dangerous for your baby to sleep in your bed if you or your partner:
If you share your bed with your baby don't forget, accidents can happen; you might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby; or your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of an adult bed and be injured.
Most cot deaths occur when the baby is under the age of six months, and can happen anywhere, not only in a cot, so these precautions should be taken whenever your child sleeps, for example in a car seat, bouncing chair or in your arms.
It is also advised that settling your baby to sleep with a dummy can reduce the risk of cot death, even if the dummy falls out while your baby is asleep. You can also reduce the risk by breastfeeding your baby, however you should always establish breastfeeding before starting to use a dummy.
If you have been affected by Cot Death, the Lullaby Trust offer a helpline for parents, carers and health professionals and bereaved families, a network of trained befrienders to support bereaved families and a Care of Next Infant (CONI) Scheme, with the NHS, to support bereaved families when they have subsequent babies.
You can also contact The Scottish Cot Death Trust, who also offer help to all those affected by cot death.
Here is some more information about Safe Sleeping For Babies including a useful infographic.
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