‘Baby in a Box’ to cut cot deaths – That’ll be Finland then
This week, I chanced across a simple idea that has apparently been around for decades. While slightly back to the future, it’s the Finnish ‘baby in a box’. As an aid to reduce cot deaths, new Finnish parents habitually bed down their babies in a box until they’re around eight months old. The small box and foam mattress prevents young babies from rolling onto their stomachs, which is recognised as leading to an increase in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Baby boxes have been popular in Finland for generations where SIDS rates have fallen steadily from 68 per 1,000 in 1938, so that by 2015 they were down to 2.3 death per 1,000 babies. Such an improvement can only be welcomed however it is achieved – for the Country that brought us Nokia, they now bring us some high tech cardboard, that’s neat.
With Britain ranking 22nd out of 50 European Countries, at 4.19 SIDS deaths per 1,000 births it looks like the idea is taking off here too. Around 300 babies die of SIDS each year in Britain and following a three month pilot scheme in Clackmannanshire and Orkney, the Scottish ‘baby box’ will be given to all new born children there by summer 2017. South of the border too, the idea is taking hold as Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has just launched an official trial of baby boxes with new Mums at Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital in London. “Simply brilliant” could be the cry.