Advice Offered on Cot Death

Kent health staff are raising awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death.

They will be on hand at hospitals across Kent and Medway today offering advice to parents and health professionals who regularly come into contact with babies and young children, about safer sleeping methods which can reduce the risk of cot death.

SIDS is the most common cause of death in infants under one year, with more than 312 babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly every year in the UK. In 2009/10 50% of SIDS reported death across Kent were as a result of unsuitable sleeping practices.

The teams will be at Pembury Hospital, Darent Valley Hospital, William Harvey Hospital and Medway Maritime Hospital between 10am and 1pm.



  • The safest place for babies to sleep is on their back, in a cot, in their parents’ room, but not in the same bed, for at least the first six months.
  • Babies should never be laid on their sides or front to go to sleep.
  • They and should be placed with their feet (not their head) to the end of the cot.
  • Parents should make sure their baby does not overheat by placing only blankets in the cot, not duvets or cot bumpers.
  • Room temperatures should be around 18C.
  • Avoid exposing babies to cigarette smoke.
  • Drugs, alcohol and tiredness can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Breastfeeding can minimise the risk.