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Sweden sees spike in sudden infant deaths

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Sweden sees spike in sudden infant deaths
09:00 CEST+02:00
The incidence of cot death, or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has begun to increase again in Sweden with 27 children dying in 2010.

The figure is an increase of ten on 2007 and continues the climbing trend of recent years, according to a report by Sveriges Radio's (SR) Ekot news programme.

Miriam Katz-Salamon, associate professor at Karolinska Hospital, argued that the increase is no coincidence and underlined the urgency of a new information campaign:

"We know that the number of young women who smoke is increasing dramatically, and smoking is a major risk factor," she said.

Other advice is to put the baby on her back, to ensure that the room is not too warm and that the baby sleeps in their own bed.

"The authorities' responsibility is significant, but we have a lack of information. The information has to be given every time we meet new parents, or even before," Miriam Katz-Salamon told Ekot.

Sudden infant death syndrome, remains very rare in Sweden, but occurs when the child is between one and four-months-old. Death comes suddenly and unexpectedly, and almost always when sleeping.

Despite many years of research it is still not clear what the cause is, but by informing expectant parents about the risk factors, the number of cases has dropped dramatically.

"I have seen how it has decreased dramatically after intensive campaigns, now it is on the rise," said Miriam Katz-Salamon.

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