Babies are more likely to die suddenly in Yorkshire than anywhere else in England, new figures suggest.
The county has the highest rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) , formerly known as “cot death”, in the country.
Data released recently for 2015 show SIDS rates reached a new record low for England and Wales of 0.27 deaths per 1,000 live births.
But in Yorkshire they are much higher than the rest of the country at 0.42 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Leading SIDS charity, The Lullaby Trust, says that more action needs to be taken by local authorities and health professionals in Yorkshire to tackle the worryingly high rates of SIDS in the region.
Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, said: “We are deeply concerned to see that SIDS rates remain higher in Yorkshire and the Humber despite the rate for England and Wales being the lowest on record.
“The decrease in SIDS deaths has been largely attributed to increased awareness of safer sleep advice so it is essential that this remains a top priority for all professionals working with families.
“While it is not known what is causing the high rates in Yorkshire and the Humber, it is vitally important that local authorities and health professionals work together to ensure families are made aware of the steps they can take to help protect their babies from SIDS.”
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby where no cause is found even after post mortem.
Though the cause of SIDS remains unknown health professionals advice some things parents can do to help reduce the chance of it occurring.
Always place your baby on their back to sleep
Keep your baby smoke free during pregnancy and after birth
Place your baby to sleep in a separate cot or Moses basket in the same room as you for the first six months
Breastfeed your baby
Use a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in good condition
Things to avoid:
Never sleep on a sofa or in an armchair with your baby
Don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you smoke, drink or take drugs or are extremely tired, if your baby was born prematurely or was of low birth-weight
Avoid letting your baby get too hot
Don’t cover your baby’s face or head while sleeping or use loose bedding
Advice on safer sleep can be found at www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/