The chances of the babies falling a victim to cot death are minimized with the use of dummies, according to a study which the British Medical Journal published. The babies who share their bed with their mothers, or whose mothers' smoke are particularly at risk where the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is concerned.
In the UK alone over 300 babies die due to SIDS every year. There is still considerable confusion with regard to what exactly causes cot death. Researchers belonging to California's Kaiser Permanente Research Foundation interviewed mothers who had lost their babies due to cot death and the 'control' parents who had healthy babies, and came to the conclusion that the babies who slept with dummies were less susceptible to SIDS.
The dummies serve to prevent death from suffocation. The babies belonging to poor families and young single mothers run a higher risk of SIDS. Sources from the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) reveal that many of the parents were not aware of the preventive methods for SIDS.
There has been a 75% fall in cot deaths since the 1991 campaign calling upon parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs. Swaddling babies also reportedly contributes towards preventing cot deaths, in addition to reducing the stress levels in the babies.
The development of the upper airways of the baby is also stimulated through the practice of sucking the dummy, which also enhances alertness. The functions of a pacifier are more mechanical than biological. The risk of SIDS is heightened when a dummy is regularly used and stopped suddenly.