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Sprott: British Paediatrician Has No Proof

Sprott: British Paediatrician Has No Proof That Cot Deaths Have Occurred On Correctly Wrapped Mattresses

Dr Jim Sprott is advising parents and babycare professionals to ignore a claim by a British paediatrician that three babies have died of cot death on wrapped mattresses.

Dr Peter Fleming, a speaker at the recent SIDS 2000 Conference, was reported in the New Zealand Herald (12 February 2000) as stating that three cot deaths had occurred in Britain on wrapped mattresses. Dr Fleming has claimed that this refutes the toxic gas theory for cot death.

"Actually, Dr Fleming doesn't even know what type of plastic these mattress wraps were made of," said Dr Sprott. "No chemical analyses of the wraps or bedding in question were carried out. Any claim that these cot deaths occurred on mattresses wrapped to my specifications for cot death prevention fails."

Dr Sprott has publicised mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention since late 1994. It is the only new item of cot death prevention advice which has been publicised in New Zealand since that time. Since Dr Sprott's publicity commenced, the New Zealand cot death rate has fallen by 48%. There has been no reported cot death on any mattress wrapped to Dr Sprott's specifications.

Dr Sprott, who addressed the SIDS 2000 Conference on 11 February, called on the Ministry of Health, the Cot Death Association, the Plunket Society and the National Maori SIDS Prevention Unit to add mattress-wrapping to their cot death prevention advice.

Dr Sprott stresses the need for babycare professionals to promote mattress-wrapping to Maori parents. "Pakeha New Zealand has enthusiastically adopted mattress-wrapping and now has a low cot death rate," he said. "The Maori cot death rate is about four times the Pakeha rate."

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