“The Child Mortality and Social Deprivation Report from the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) confirms a clear link between social deprivation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It is concerning that 1 in 5 child deaths could be avoided if children living in the most deprived areas had the same mortality risk as those living in the least deprived.
Despite this link, deprivation is not a cause of death in instances of SIDS, and understanding what happens when a baby dies without a cause remains a complex situation. The sudden and unexpected death of a baby is one of the most devasting things that can happen to a family, and our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these tragedies.
We’ve seen through the decline in SIDS rates over the last 30 years that safer sleep saves babies’ lives. Yet, the circumstances and environment relating to deprivation can make following safer sleep advice more difficult, i.e., unsuitable and poor housing is a recognised risk factor for sudden infant death.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone who cares for a baby has access to safer sleep advice. We produce accessible resources including easy read cards which are available in multiple languages, as well as text free animations. Our national awareness campaign, Safer Sleep Week, also aims to raise awareness of SIDS and the safer sleep advice that reduces the risk of it occurring. Our helpline service is available for families and professionals who need advice on SIDS and safer sleep. We also train health professionals working with new and expectant parents.
Our Little Lullaby project provides support and information to young parents aged 25 and below. In addition, our Care of Next Infant (CONI) programme supports bereaved families before and after the birth of their new baby.
We welcome strategies aimed at reducing social deprivation and inequalities which could help prevent further sudden infant deaths.”