The latest figures released today for England and Wales by The Office of National Statistics (ONS) show well over 200 babies died of SIDS, also known as cot death, in 2012, while the rate of SIDS only dropped from 0.34 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 0.30 in 2012.
The Lullaby Trust’s Chief Executive, Francine Bates OBE,said: “It is incredibly disappointing to see the SIDS rate has not significantly decreased and that SIDS accounted for 8% of all infant deaths in 2012. Although any drop is a step in the right direction we are not reducing SIDS fast enough.
“We have one of the highest infant mortality rates in Western Europe which is staggering when we know of measures that can reduce the risk of SIDS and save lives. We are failing hundreds of babies every year and more must be done to make infant survival a priority.
“In other countries like Holland where SIDS is very low, they apply a concerted strategy to reducing infant deaths and their health professionals consistently give the safer sleep advice to families. We worry that complacency is setting in and call on Public Health England and Public Health Wales to work with local authorities to reduce SIDS.
“Since 1989 SIDS has reduced by 70% so we know we can save lives by advising parents on the safer sleep basics such as placing a baby on its back to sleep, temperature control and keeping a baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth.
“The Lullaby Trust has set itself a target to halve unexplained infant deaths by 2020 by delivering safer sleep information to families and health care professionals; supporting local awareness campaigns and continuing to fund research into the causes of sudden infant death.
“Much more could be done to bring the SIDS rate down but we can’t do it on our own. We call on all major parties to pledge their support to babies and commit to reducing infant mortality in their manifestos.”