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Amicustheunion

Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
 

Press release

Embargo: Thurs 23 Nov 2000 FSID ref: 17/00

Survey shows safer sleep environments to reduce cot death jeopardised by parents' confusion over room temperature

Babies who get too hot are at an increased risk of cot death. But a new survey, commissioned by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), the UK's leading cot death charity, revealed that many parents don't know what the room temperature should be for their baby, and are unable to judge the temperature of their own home.

Sixty three per cent of parents with young babies surveyed did not know the correct temperature at which to keep the room where their baby sleeps. Only 37% gave answers within the recommended temperature band of 16-20C, with more mothers than fathers (41% and 30% respectively) giving the right response.

When asked to estimate how warm it was in their own home, only 41% of parents correctly estimated the temperature within two degrees Celsius. Yet only 37% of parents reported having a room thermometer in the room where their baby sleeps. Joyce Epstein, FSID's Director, said:

"Babies can get too hot for a variety of reasons, and room temperature is one of them. Our message to parents is: look at and touch your baby to see if they are too warm, and keep an eye on the room temperature. Why take chances when creating a safer sleep environment for your baby?"

Baby product manufacturer Tomy has come on board to help FSID launch this latest stage of the charity's BabyZone campaign, the campaign that encourages parents and carers to "create the environment babies would ask for if they could speak".

Paula Patmore, of Tomy said:

"We are delighted to be helping FSID promote its BabyZone warmth awareness warning to parents. Selected Tomy products will carry information on correct room temperature and other ways to create a safer sleep environment for babies".

Notes to editors:

The correct way to tell if a baby is too hot is by feeling their tummy. If it is hot or sweaty to the touch, then parents should remove a layer of bedding or clothing.

The full reduce the risk of cot death message is:

  • Place your baby on the back to sleep

  • Cut smoking in pregnancy - fathers too!

  • Do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby

  • Do not let your baby get too hot

  • Keep baby's head uncovered - place your baby with feet to the foot of the cot, to prevent wriggling down under the covers

  • If your baby is unwell, seek medical advice promptly

FSID runs a 24 hour Helpline, available to families, carers and professionals concerned about baby health and cot death. FSID encourages editors to include the 24 hour Helpline number 020 7233 2090 with any reporting on the issue.

FSID runs a 24 hour Helpline, available to families, carers and professionals concerned about baby health and cot death. FSID encourages editors to include the 24 hour Helpline number 020 7233 2090 with any reporting on the issue.

For further information contact:

Samantha Sherratt 020 7227 5212 / 020 7222 8001 (day)
FSID's Information and media manager 020 8340 0859 (eve) / 0780 335 6292 (mobile)

Sarah Kenyon 020 7227 5211 / 020 7222 8001 (day)

FSID's Information and media officer 020 8769 7932 (eve) / 0403 147038 (mobile)

The following photographs, with babies in the feet to foot position, can be emailed free of charge:

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