The dangers of smoking while pregnant have always been widely publicised, and now smoking has been highlighted as a major factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In a study carried out by Public Health Wales, it was found that the rate of fatalities where parents smoked was “alarmingly high”.
According to the study results, 25 out of 45 cases of SIDS (cot deaths) were from homes where inhabitants smoked.
While the link to smoking was highlighted, other risks reportedly include sleep position, co-sleeping and low birth weight.
Dr Paul Davis, a co-author of the Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy – A Collaborative Thematic Review 2010-2012 report, said that the research findings issue a major warning to parents about the dangers of smoking around babies and young children.
“The rate of smoking among parents was alarmingly high and the importance of a smoke-free environment for young babies cannot be over-estimated,” he said.
Highlighting the need for heightened caution with co-sleeping, he added: “Also, the proportion of babies who were co-sleeping with a parent at the time of death, despite presence of other risk factors, suggest this is an important area for future health promotion.”
Now, more than ever, we need to not just be aware but act on the important research being produced about the dangers of smoking in the home.