News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Ministry's new advice promotes cot death risk


Ministry's new advice promotes known cot death risk

29 November 2006

Media release:

New Ministry of Health advice promotes impromptu bedsharing between parents and babies

New Ministry of Health advice on cot death prevention promotes a known cot death risk and should be reviewed urgently, stated cot death expert Dr Jim Sprott today.

Dr Sprott's statement follows the announcement on 21 November 2006 that the Ministry of Health will shortly issue a new pamphlet on cot death prevention. In addition to existing advice, the pamphlet will contain a new recommendation: that babies sleep in a bassinet or cot in their parents' bedroom during the first six months of the baby's life.

"The Ministry of Health's new advice is potentially dangerous," stated Dr Sprott. "Any parent knows that if babies sleep in their parents' bedrooms, the potential for the baby to bedshare in the parents' bed becomes very high.

"We are likely to see an upsurge in impromptu bedsharing as babies who would previously have slept in a separate bedroom now sleep in their parents' bedroom, and bedsharing which previously would not have occurred becomes likely - for example, to soothe wakeful babies, and as more breastfeeding occurs in parents' beds.

"The outcome of this new Ministry of Health advice is that bedsharing cot deaths may actually increase."

Dr Sprott noted that simultaneous deaths of twin baby girls in August 2006 occurred during impromptu bedsharing. One twin needed to be breastfed during the night, and for this purpose the mother took both twins into the parents' bed. The mother fell asleep with the twins still in the parents' bed, and the following morning both twins were found dead.

"The Ministry of Health's current cot death prevention advice strongly implies that bedsharing can be undertaken safely except in certain circumstances," stated Dr Sprott. "However, in 2005 Coroners in Auckland, Northland and Wellington all issued warnings about the danger posed to babies by bedsharing."

Parents should sleep small babies in a supermarket banana box rather take them into their own beds, stated Auckland Coroner Dr Murray Jamieson.

"One wonders how Coroners view the situation that the Ministry of Health will now be advising parents to sleep babies in the parents' bedroom," stated Dr Sprott. "This new advice flies in the face of common sense following the deaths of twin babies last August during impromptu bedsharing in their parents' bed."

The Ministry of Health's new recommendation follows a workshop held by the Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee in May 2006. "The research basis presented at the Child Mortality Workshop for the Ministry's new advice was equivocal and very sparse," stated Dr Sprott. "This new advice should be reviewed urgently."

Dr Sprott has asked the Minister of Health to defer the release of the Ministry of Health's new cot death prevention pamphlet.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

Journalism: An Icon Returns. New-Look North & South Magazine Hits Shelves

One of New Zealand’s most iconic magazines, North & South, is back on the shelves this week – with new independent ownership. The magazine, which has set the benchmark for investigative journalism in New Zealand since 1986, relaunches this week, ensuring ... More>>


Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>



Howard Davis: Inside The King's Head - Girl in the Loft at BATS

Katherine Wyeth weaves together a dramatic tapestry of memory, identity, and legacy, exploring what it was like to grow up in the second oldest operating pub theatre in the UK. More>>

Howard Davis: Fiddling While America Burns - Wellington's T-Bone Cut A Rug

Just a few days prior to the most significant US Presidential elections in decades, local denizens of Lower Hutt's Moera Hall were treated to a broad canvas of musical styles, including tinges of bluegrass, old-time, country, cajun, and zydeco influences. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Rises From The Ashes (& Chris O'Connor Talks)

Simultaneously dreamy and structured, understated and subtle, spacious and hypnotic, The Phoenix Foundation's new album Lifeline includes gorgeous vocal harmonies, lilting lyrics with no lack of wry, self-deprecating humour, and gently weeping guitar parts. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland