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Sprott Warns Against Cot Death Researcher's Advice

Sprott Warns Against Advice Of British Cot Death Researcher:

SPROTT WARNS AGAINST ADVICE OF BRITISH COT DEATH RESEARCHER:

"MANY BABIES HAVE DIED OF COT DEATH WHERE PARENTS RELIED ON THE ADVICE WHICH IS PROMOTED BY DR PETER FLEMING"

Dr Jim Sprott is warning caregivers and babycare professionals against relying on cot death prevention advice publicised by British paediatrician Dr Peter Fleming.

Dr Fleming, who is to address the SIDS 2000 Conference in Auckland next week, has recently claimed that a British study found no evidence to support the toxic gas theory for cot death. Mattress-wrapping, which Dr Sprott actively promotes for cot death prevention, is based on that theory.

"Dr Fleming is entirely incorrect," said Dr Sprott. "Mattress- wrapping for cot death prevention is supported by comprehensive research. Furthermore, it has a 100% success record in practice.

"Many babies have died of cot death where parents relied on the advice which Dr Fleming promotes," said Dr Sprott. "But there have been no reported cot deaths where parents relied on my advice."

Dr Sprott has publicised mattress-wrapping in New Zealand since late 1994. It is the only new item of cot death prevention advice publicised since that time. Following the introduction of mattress-wrapping, the New Zealand cot death rate fell by 48%* and the Pakeha rate by an estimated 60%.

"We are making excellent progress with cot death prevention in this country," said Dr Sprott. "We don't want Dr Fleming publicising outmoded advice which risks the lives of New Zealand babies."

* derived from official 1998 statistics

Contact: Ms Felicity Price Chairperson, SIDS 2000 Conference Phone: 03-3557159

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