ENDING the heartbreak of sudden infant death syndrome could soon be within reach for millions of parents after experts discover a new, safer way for babies to sleep.
SIDS, also known as cot death, is the unexpected and unexplained death of a healthy baby within the first year of life.
In the UK, around 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year, according to the NHS.
New research has found that using specially made baby cot, called apēpi-pod, can reduce the risk of death in infants by 22 per cent.
Pēpi-pods, are a small portable plastic bed which creates a zone of physical protection for a baby within a shared bed with parents.
They are purpose built beds which allow babies to sleep with parents safely.
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The programme, conducted by several Australian Universities and health organisations, involved 900 families with babies from Australia, between 2010 and 2018.
Parents were given a pēpi-pod along with personalised education about infant breathing and safe sleeping strategies.
The experts found an astounding 75 per cent reduction in the infant mortality rate in areas with the highest level of community participation in the program.
The results suggest the beds "provide a practical and tangible solution to high infant mortality rates", the researchers said.
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"The pēpi-pod program has a ‘low cost high return on investment’ profile, given the high ‘value of a statistical life’ for each infant saved," they added.
Lead co-author Jeanine Young, or the University of the Sunshine Coast said, "These results are really exciting for services and families across Queensland."
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In the report, Queensland Pediatric Quality Council Co-Chair Dr. Julie McEniery said: "Improving the safety of the sleeping environment is a key strategy to prevent deaths."
In June, a corner concluded that the death of a newborn could have been prevented if a pēpi-pod was used.
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