Cot death on the rise for the first time in five years

The Office for National Statistics have released figures showing that cot deaths have increased for the first time 5 years.

During 2013 there were 249 unexplained infant deaths in England and Wales. Since 2008 the death rate as been declining from 0.41 to 0.32 in 2012, but increased to 0.36 in 2013.

The largest rise was recorded in February 2013, which was recorded as being colder than average and as a result, experts believe overheating could have been a key factor in the increase. 

The Lullaby Trust has said urgent action should be taken to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). nearly two thirds of the deaths were recorded as sudden infant deaths, whilst the rest had no cause of death recorded.




Commenting on behalf of The Lullaby Trust, chief executive Francine Bates, said: “Sudden infant death is devastating for families and we are deeply concerned to see that the number of unexplained deaths has risen in 2013, the first increase in five years.

“It is shocking that the UK has one of the highest infant death rates in Europe. We call on Government and all agencies to urgently develop a national strategy to reduce these deaths and reinforce safer sleep messages to all parents, especially young parents.”


The rate of infant deaths increased from 0.92 to 1.27 per 1000 babies, in mothers under 20. These figures highlight mothers under 20 as a high risk group for SIDS, with many effected by cuts and in need of extra support.

Major risk factors associated with sudden infant death include: a baby’s gender, birth weight and  parents’ martial status. Other risk factors include: sleeping position and environment – including bed-sharing, not breastfeeding, temperature and exposure to cigarette smoke both pre and post-natal.

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