The number of infants dying due to the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is on the rise. Researchers have identified that the majority of these deaths have occurred in cases where the parents fall asleep with their babies on the sofa. Statistics show that in the past 20 years this number has increased more than fourfold.
Hence the doctors are advising the parents not to fall asleep with their babies on the sofa. The researchers say that the parents cuddle their babies in the bed, sofa but fail to put them back in the crib, which has increased the rates of deaths due to SIDS.
The findings published in the journal Lancet, reports that there is an increase in the death rates among the parents living in poor localities. Smoking is also a major role apart from bottle-feeding, which can be attributed to these deaths.
This was supported by the Scottish Cot Death Trust which said that there is an increased chance of the mothers tiring out due to the motherhood demands which makes them fall asleep in the bed, sofa and causes the death of the baby.
Professor Peter Fleming of the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol analysed the effects of the previous campaigns asking the parents to avoid the habit of making their children to go to sleep on their fronts or in the bed with adults. He found that in the pat 20 years from 1984-2003 there were 369 infant deaths in the Avon area and the number of deaths in the parental bed had decreased. But on the other hand the deaths due to co-sleeping on the sofa had increased by fourfold.
The researchers found that, the proportion of deaths due to SIDS, have increased from 47% to 74 % and deaths related to maternal smoking from 57% to 86%. Among the deaths the percent of premature deaths rose from 12% to 34% while the percent of breastfed dropped from 50% to 26%.
Statistics show that there were 10000 infant deaths in UK in 1991 and 50000 in the European countries.
Though there is a reduction in the deaths rates due to SIDS among the infants more public awareness is needed to completely eliminate the infant deaths.
Lisa Cohen, the chief executive of the Scottish Cot Death Trust, said that the parents should be asked to put their babies to sleep on their backs and this message should be spread among the deprived area where the incidence is on the rise.