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

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

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